Army Day 2022: Army will remain important in protecting national interests as India grows in stature: Rajnath

New Delhi: On the 74th Army Day, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that the Indian Army will continue to play an important role in safeguarding national interests as India grows in stature and power. On the occasion of Army Day, the Minister said that the Indian Army keeps a constant watch on the borders of the nation and thus instills confidence in the citizens. In a message posted on the Army’s Twitter handle, Singh said the Indian Army is preparing to play an expanded role to deal with the newly emerging multi-sectoral security challenges.

Singh said that the Army’s action during natural calamities has been remarkable and has been greatly appreciated by all. “As India grows in stature and strength, the Indian Army will continue to be instrumental in protecting our national interests and achieving our national aspirations,” he said. The government is determined for the capacity development of the Indian Army and the welfare of its personnel, their families, retired personnel and Veer Naris (Widows of Martyrs). Singh said, ‘On this occasion, we salute our brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the country.’ He said that the entire nation stands together to express solidarity with the families who have endured the loss of their loved ones with courage and patience.

On 74th Army Day, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that Pakistan is helpless with its habit of harboring terrorists. Around 300-400 terrorists are sitting in training camps across the border looking for an opportunity to infiltrate. Attempts to smuggle weapons by drones from across the border are also going on. Army Chief General MM Naravane said on Saturday that the Indian Army’s message is clear that it will not allow any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country’s border to succeed. Addressing the Army Day Parade here, he said last year was very challenging for the Army. He cited developments on the northern borders with China. Army Day is celebrated every year on 15 January to commemorate the taking over of Field Marshal KM Cariappa as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in place of his British predecessor in 1949.

Referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff, General Naravane said that the 14th round of military-level talks between India and China took place recently to keep the situation under control. He said the joint efforts at various levels led to the completion of the retreat of troops in many areas, which is a constructive step in itself. General Naravane said that on the basis of mutual and equal security, efforts will continue to find a solution to the current situation. He said that the morale of the soldiers deployed on the snow-capped mountains for the security of the country is touching the sky.

General Naravane said, ‘Our patience is a sign of our confidence, but no one should make the mistake of testing it.’ He said, ‘Our message is clear, the Indian Army will not allow unilateral efforts to change the status quo on the country’s border to succeed. The armies of India and China have been embroiled in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area. To resolve the standoff, the two countries have held 14 rounds of military-level talks. Gen Naravane said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) is better than last year but Pakistan is still harboring terrorists.