Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asked the Army to maintain strong vigil along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China as the situation in the northern sector remained "tense" in view of deployment of PLA troops.
In his address at the Army Commanders' Conference, Singh, without making specific references, called upon the armed forces to take note of geo-political changes around the world, and accordingly mould their planning and strategies, sources said.
"The situation is tense due to deployment of PLA troops in the northern sector. Our armed forces, especially the Indian Army, will have to continuously keep their vigilance in order to maintain the security of the LAC," he said, according to the sources. Singh's comments came in the backdrop of the three-year border row in eastern Ladakh.
The defence minister said the security of the country is the "topmost priority" for the government. "I assure all of you that it is the whole endeavour of the government to provide the best weapons and facilities to each and every soldier posted on the border," he said at the conference in Delhi.
The five-day Army Commanders' Conference began on Monday. It is deliberating on India's national security challenges along the borders with China and Pakistan and ways to boost combat capability of the force.
Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, the defence minister said it is witnessing peace and stability and there has been a significant decline in the number of terrorist activities in the Union Territory. "In the North-Eastern states too, there has been a lot of improvement in the internal security scenario following operations carried out by the Indian Army," Singh said.
"Nevertheless, we have to be vigilant against anti-national organisations that challenge the government's efforts for peace," he added. In his remarks, Singh also said that future warfare will be highly unpredictable due to "many uncertainties".
"In today's changing times, the scope of threats and weapons has become very wide-ranging. There is a need to assess your defense preparedness accordingly," he told the commanders. The defence minister said there is a need to ensure use of real-time intelligence more effectively so that "we can be fully prepared to face any such future challenges."
He said the welfare and well-being of each and every soldier and ex-serviceman is also an important goal of the government. The government is working for the armed forces as diligently as the armed forces are working for the security of the nation, he said.
"The government is fully committed to the welfare of not only the armed forces, but also veterans, and their families," Singh said. The Army Commanders' Conference is an apex-level biannual event that is held in April and October every year. The conference is an institutional platform for conceptual-level deliberations, culminating in making important policy decisions for the Indian Army.