Chinese Army presence in PoK to come up for review12 September 2010
The Daily Excelsior
NEW DELHI: Top 23 commanders of armed forces will strategise for two days from tomorrow on external challenges from China and internal threat from Maoists during which Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh too will share his vision. The annual conference of Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders will thrash out the Sino-Indian relations along with officials from the Foreign Office when issues relating to the reported presence of People’s Liberation Army troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will also come up for review. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the conference and address the Commanders in an effort to provide direction to the deliberations at the meet, which will be attended by Defence Minister A K Antony. The military build-up by China including the deployment of its missile units, new airbases and concentration of troops along the Sino-Indian borders, apart from the refusal of a visa to Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal are likely to figure in the discussions, Defence Ministry sources said. The Commanders will also review the armed forces’ preparedness to counter the challenges posed by the military might of the PLA, apart from the increased presence of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean Region and the Asian giant’s reported ‘string of pearls’ strategy to encircle India in the South Asian neighbourhood. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao would make a power-point presentation to the conference on the subject, sources said. On the internal security front, Home Minister P Chidambaram will share his views on the domestic threats including the Naxal menace and the role of the armed forces in tackling them. Though the Government has debated the idea of involving the armed forces in the fight against Maoists on several occasions before, Antony has vetoed it as the services chiefs were against their troops being used in the operations, except from providing logistics and casualty evacuation support. However, the armed forces, especially the Army, has debated the subject of their deployment in Naxal-affected areas and is said to be preparing themselves for such an eventuality. Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations of the armed forces, in their civilian support role, too would be discussed with the Home Ministry officials at the conference, the sources added. National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon would chair a session at the conference while Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik will preside over the event. Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and Army Chief V K Singh too would address the meet. (PTI) .