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Indian Army fully geared to take on challenges, says Army Chief Bikram Singh on Kargil War anniversary

Friday, 25 July 2014 - 7:10pm IST | Place: Drass (JK) | Agency: PTI

The Indian Army is "fully geared" to take on the challenges and the government is totally committed towards ensuring that its needs are met, outgoing Army Chief General Bikram Singh said on Friday as he paid tribute to the Kargil War heroes.

"As Chief of Army Staff, I want to assure you that your army is stationed at the border and has the ability to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country," said Singh, who was here to take part in events to mark the 15th anniversary of Kargil War. The day is observed as 'Vijay Divas' .

"As you know that I am hanging my boots on July 31 and I thought what better way of saying goodbye to the profession than coming here and laying a wreath," Singh told reporters. Asked if things have changed in terms of deficiencies in the army since Kargil War, he said, "Yes, things have changed.

Let me tell you all the armies have deficiencies. It is not only that the Indian army has deficiencies. "But things are being made up. The present government is totally committed towards ensuring that our needs are met.

Our deficiencies are met. So let me assure you that your army is fully geared to take on the challenges. I personally guarantee you that," he said. Replying to a question, General Singh said the life of a soldier has improved since the Kargil incursions took place in 1999.

"It has improved by leaps and bounds in a very distinct manner," he said. "The aspirations of the force with regards to the security needs are being addressed by the government. Let me assure you that the present government is definitely committed towards ensuring that the aspirations of our soldiers are met," he said.

On ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the Army Chief said, "As you very well know that this kind of firing has been on and this thing has been happening almost every month and every year, but let me assure you that your soldiers are taking necessary action whenever required." Asked about the absence of senior army officers, who were part of Kargil war, from the function today, Gen Singh said he cannot comment on it as they might have had prior commitments.

"Look I cannot comment on that. It is possible that they are abroad, they are busy. They might have prior commitments. But let me assure you that each one of those officers has a commitment towards this cause," he said. General Singh later interacted with war widows present at the function and distributed gifts among them.

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