Drones will be used more in all sorts of combat, increases challenges, says Army Chief after Jammu attack

Gen MM Naravane also said that all troops sensitised to this evolving threat of drone attack and Army has put in place certain measures.
Army Chief General MM Naravane (Photo | PTI)
Army Chief General MM Naravane (Photo | PTI)

Speaking days after attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Thursday said the easy availability of drones definitely increases complexity and challenges.

"Drones will be increasingly used in all sorts of combat in the future both by state and non-state actors and we will have to factor this in all our future planning that we do," said General MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff addressing a think-tank.

We have put in place certain measures, all troops sensitised to this evolving threat, Army Chief said on the drone attack on Jammu Air Force Station.

"We are developing capabilities to deal with that threat whether by state-sponsored or by states themselves and to deal with drone threats both in kinetic & non-kinetic realm," he opined.

In a first terror attack of its kind, two low-intensity improvised explosive devices dropped by drones went off in a highly secure Indian Air Force base in Jammu, about 14 km off the International Border, in the early hours on Sunday.

In a sudden and significant move aimed at reducing tensions, the Indian and Pakistani armies announced on February 25 that they would cease firing across the LoC, while recommitting themselves to a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

The Chief of Army Staff said following the February ceasefire, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has seen a "marked improvement".

"Since there is a ceasefire, there is no longer any infiltration. As there is no infiltration, the number of terrorists in the valley is lesser and as the number of terrorists is lesser, the number of terror-related incidents has also seen a drop," Gen. Naravane said.

"But there will always be elements who will try to sabotage the process of peace and development. We will have to cater for that. We have a strong counter-terrorism and counter-infiltration grid in Jammu and Kashmir and our operations to that end to ensure peace and tranquillity will continue," he added.

The Army Chief said there were certain incidents of violence like firing at some security forces' picket or gunning down of some person.

"These kinds of incidents do continue. But overall, the sharp drop in all parameters of violence clearly indicates that the general population in Kashmir is all for peace and development," he said.

Going forward, the Army Chief said there is a need to focus more on creating conditions that are conducive to peace and development.

Asked about the possible impact on India of the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban increasing its influence in that country, Gen.

Naravane declined to give a direct reply, saying the American drawdown is still underway.

"So in that front, we will have to wait and watch to see how it unfolds and how it impacts us," he said.

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