Indian Army chief hopes Pak polls will lead to improvement in security situation

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:25 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb.23 (ANI): The Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, has expressed the hope that the recent elections in Pakistan should have a salutary effect on security in that country in particular and in South Asia overall.
Participating in the “Devil’s Advocate” programme of the CNN-IBN television channel, the full broadcast of which will take place on Sunday night, General Kapoor told Karan Thapar, his interviewer, “With the elections (in Pakistan) having now taken place, I think, the security situation as far as Pakistan is concerned - if it gets stabilised - should improve.”
” When the things were turbulent, we were a little worried that some of the extremists may want to infiltrate and we were very vigilant on the borders. But now that the elections have taken place, and hopefully in next few days they would have a government being formed, we would be able to talk to a democratically elected government to resolve some of our outstanding differences with them,” General Kapoor added.
General Kapoor also said that it was reassuring to have a professional soldier as the head of the Pakistan Army.
“I think General Ashfaq Kiyani is a professional soldier, and he has gone through the mill - so to say, and come up as a capable officer. I think he would be able to handle the Pakistan Army professionally,” General Kapoor told Thapar.
Asked for his comment on the incursions by Chinese troops in Arunachal, General Kapoor said Indian troops too indulge in moves that could be seen as intrusion by the Chinese.
He also that the border infrastructure on the Chinese side was better than that of India, giving them an “additional capability to bring additional troops”, and added that New delhi is “seriously looking into” this aspect.
“I think a degree of misperception has been built on this issue of incursions. First and foremost, it is a matter of perception. The Chinese have a different perception of the Line of Actual Control (LOAC) as do we. When they come up to their perception, we call it an incursion and likewise they do,” General Kapoor said.
He said the level of total number of incursions in 2007 is “somewhat similar to what it has been in the past. So, the feeling that too many incursions have taken place into Indian territory is not right.”
Asked whether Indian troops also cross into Chinese territory as often because of differences of perception about LOAC, the Army Chief replied, “That’s right…which they would call an incursion into their side. So, therefore, to that extent, we would be as much blameworthy for that kind of incursion up to our perceived LOAC.”
Kapoor dismissed media perception that Chinese incursion were a sign of muscle-flexing by Beijing indicating something worse to come.
“I do not share that at all…that is why I say at times the press has not been fair in reporting this very accurately,” he said.
Seeking to allay concerns over Chinese troop manoeuvres, the Army Chief said satellite technology gives India an ability to see across the LOAC to keep a watch on movements.
“Whilst that (Chinese ability to move troops faster) is a matter of concern, the fact is that if and when they move (troops) there are also today images available through the means of satellite. Whenever any such movement takes place there is an ample opportunity for notice to be able to meet such a challenge if and when it does happen,” he said. (ANI with inputs)

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