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'Troop mobilisation at border was high point of my career'
December 31, 2002 11:31 IST
Ending an eventful two-year-and three-month tenure as the Chief of Army Staff, Gen S Padmanabhan on Tuesday said the India's biggest troop mobilisation at the Indo-Pak border - after the December 13 attack on Parliament - was the high point of his career.
"It was heartwarming to oversee the movement of troops towards the border. The way they moved, the smoothness, the absolute and well-practiced ease was magnificent," Gen Padmanabhan told reporters in Delhi after handing over charge to Gen N C Vij.
Lauding the Railways for helping the army, he said, "They had a hell of a role to play and they did it very well."
Taking a dig at Pervez Musharraf, who holds the office of Pakistan president and army chief, Padmanabhan said, "It is their misfortune that they have him as their chief."
However, Padmanabhan -- who was also the first army chief to have served as Director General of Military Intelligence -- did not elaborate on this point.
Admitting that retiring from service was 'certainly the low point', the highly regarded General said he planned to go home 'and do what the good Lord wills'.
Earlier, at a simple ceremony in South Block, Gen Padmanabhan personally put the insignia of the full General on Vij's uniform and described him as an experienced soldier.
"He was the Director General of Military Operations during the Kargil conflict and served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff for a year," Padmanabhan said.
Gen Padmanabhan signed off by wishing the nation a happy new year and stepped back from the spotlight.