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India reserves right of pre-emptive strike on Pakistan terror targets: New Army chief

NEW DELHI:  Hours after taking over as the new Army Chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said India reserves the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror if Pakistan does not stop state-sponsored terrorism.

Speaking to a couple of news agencies, Gen Naravane said a strategy of “resolute punitive response” has been evolved to punish cross-border terror. “Multiple options across the spectrum of conflict are on the table to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan,” he said. “A new normal in our response mechanism has been emphatically underlined,” he added.

On the reading down of Article 370 in J&K, he said, the situation in Kashmir has since improved significantly.  “However, the problem remains. It has not gone away. So, we will always be ready (to take) whatever measures are required to deal with the challenges there,” he added.

Talking about the security challenges along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control with China, said the focus has shifted from the Western border to the Northern border as part of re-balancing of priorities. “We will continue to improve capability building along the Northern border so we are prepared when the need arises.”

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