Counterinsurgency operations will be shifted to northern Kashmir this year: Army Chief

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NEW DELHI: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the counterinsurgency operations will be shifted to northern areas this year

"In 2017, our focus of the operations was in South Kashmir. This year it will shift to North Kashmir's Baramulla, Pattan, Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore and Lolab and some northern areas of Bandipore so that the infiltration can be thwarted there," he said.

Acknowledging that China is exerting pressure on the Indian border,he said that China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation.

"The time had come for India to shift focus to its northern border. The country is capable of handling China's assertiveness. China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation," the Army chief said.

Recognising the threat posed by China on the border, the Army chief said that the troops are ready tackle any aggressive manoeuvre by China.

Referring to the US' warnings to Pakistan over its handling of terrorism, Rawat said India will have to wait and see its impact.

"Militants are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army approach has been to ensure that it feels the pain," he said.

He also stressed the need of inducting modern weaponry to prepare the army to fight battles of the future.

"We need modern weapons and technology. We have to look at what we require to fight the future wars. We have to get systems that are best suited for our requirements," he said.

The General also informed the media about armed forces preparedness to move ammunition and forces in times of conflict.

"We need to have capacities to ensure that ammunition can move from one sector to another and we are focusing on it. We also need to build capacity to move forces from western sector to northern sectors," he said.

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