As the Terror Infrastructure in Pakistan Remains Intact, Infiltration Attempts Continue and the Terrorist Threat Remains a Reality’
Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC
What are the challenges facing the army?
The changing nature of conflict itself poses a major challenge. Technology, globalisation and ‘war by other means’, is rapidly transforming the theory and practice of war. Conventional conflict is increasingly yielding to limited, irregular and hybrid forms of conflict. Our army is well aware of this challenging transition.

In view of this, the army needs to be prepared to fight a conventional war, while continuing to guard our multi-front borders, countering proxy war and fighting insurgencies. At the same time, we have to fulfil our commitments to UN Peace Keeping, contribute to regional security as also undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster management. Adapting the army to meet such varied challenges of the future requires modernisation, infusion of technology and the development of human resources.

How do you assess the operational situation in Jammu and Kashmir? Is there a case for further reduction of troops from the theatre, if not, why?

The overall situation in J&K, militarily, is firmly under control and all parameters of terrorism are low till now. The quantum of security forces deployed in the state of J&K is constantly reviewed, based on our assessment of situation. Any decision to reduce the deployment of forces depends mainly on comprehensive assessment of the prevailing situation and its impact on the overall security situation. As the terror infrastructure in Pakistan remains intact, infiltration attempts continue and the terrorist threat remains a reality. Thus, we ensure dynamism in our deployments.

What is the status of the Rashtriya Rifles? Is it still a temporary Paramilitary Force?

Rashtriya Rifles was conceived in 1990 with only one Sector headquarters and six Rashtriya Rifles Battalions to begin with. Subsequently, the force has expanded to five Counter Insurgency Force Headquarters, having 15 Sector Headquarters and 60+ battalions. The entire wherewithal for fighting insurgency in terms of manpower, equipment and funding of Rashtriya Rifles is being provided by the army.

The basic purpose of raising Rashtriya Rifles was to release regular army units from counter insurgency role. The force was originally designed to be a Para Military Force with 75 per cent of its manpower being drawn from the ranks of ex-servicemen/lateral inductees and the balance 25 per cent being on deputation from the army. However, the ex-servicemen did not come forth to join Rashtriya Rifles as envisaged, which resulted in the force being manned fully by regular army personnel. This manpower pattern continues to date and the force functions under the operational and administrative control of army.
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