NEW DELHI, Jan 1 - New Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today said while the country and the force want to maintain peace and tranquillity at the border, it will not �shy away� from using its power in any form.
He also made it clear that Eastern Army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern commander Lt Gen PM Hariz, whom he superseded, will continue to serve the Army and help maintain its unity and power.
�Our country, our army wants peace and tranquillity at the border. But it does not mean that we are weak. We are capable and powerful in all forms and if need be, we will not shy away from using our power in any form.
�Our aim is that peace is maintained at the border. But I will say it again that if need be, we will not hesitate in using our power,� Gen Rawat said after reviewing the Guard of Honour at the South Block here.
India shares a 3,323-km boundary with Pakistan, including a 749-km Line of Control (LoC). The Indian Army has lost over 60 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 and there have frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan across the LoC. Gen Rawat also sent across a message to all ranks of the army, saying every soldier counted.
�I am fully conscious of my responsibility to the rank and file of the army. Every individual, every soldier in the army counts irrespective of the arms and service he belongs to because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the army efficient and strong,� he said.
He had yesterday taken over as the 27th chief of the 1.3 million strong Indian Army succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who retired after 42 years of service. � PTI