New Delhi: Reiterating that the priority of the Army is to be operationally prepared at all times, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Wednesday said that special attention will be paid to respect human rights. “I pray to Waheguru ji to give me courage and strength to perform my duties as the Chief of Army Staff. All three services are ready to defend the country,” he said as he paid his tribute at the National War Memorial.

Hours after taking charge as India’s new Chief of Army Staff, General MM Naravane issued a strongly-worded warning to Pakistan to desist from sponsoring terrorism, telling news agency PTI “we reserve the right to pre-emptively strike at sources of terror”. The Army Chief said India had “multiple options across (the) spectrum of conflict… to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan”. General Naravane, who succeeded General Bipin Rawat, also said his focus would be on ensuring the Army maintained high standards of operational readiness to “face any threat at any time”.

 

“We have the Line of Actual Control with China. The border question is yet to be settled. However, we have made a lot of progress in maintaining peace and tranquillity along the borders. And I am sure that the situation will prevail. And by maintaining peace and tranquillity along the borders we will be able to set the stage for an eventual solution,” he said in connection with Indo-China border dispute.

In 37 years of service, Gen Naravane has served in a number of command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

He took charge as Army chief on December 31, 2019.