Chief of Army Staff General S Padmanabhan on Thursday said the troops build-up on the International Border with Pakistan served its purpose.
"This has sent out a clear message...our strength is clearly known to the enemy," General Padmanabhan told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
The army chief, who is Orissa on a three-day visit, said: "A million-strong army went to the border, trained there, and I am pulling them back for a better purpose. It's a wise move, I could exercise my whole army in the process," he said.
The Indian government announced on October 16 that it was pulling back its troops from the International Border.
Stating that the army's role on the borders had been clearly defined, General Padmanabhan said the whole exercise was triggered by the militant attack on Parliament on December 13 last year.
Pakistan was identified as the "perpetrator of the incident" for which defence forces were mobilised, he said.
"The ruler of Pakistan in his address on January 12 last said that its [Pakistan's] soil would not be allowed to sponsor terrorism which was a clear admission of the culpability of that country. It amounted to saying we committed a mistake, it will
not happen again," the army chief said.
General Padmanabhan, whose tenure as the army chief ends on December 31, said the army should not be called upon to do "too many" internal jobs.
"No army wants to do that," he said.
Asked what he expected the government to do for the army, the general said the army needed guaranteed availability of three per cent of the Gross Domestic Product [as its budget allocation] for the next ten years.
"Besides, all our border areas should be looked after well as the country's true security lay there," he said adding the people living in these areas should not feel that their voice was not being heard.
Asked whether the new government in Jammu and Kashmir would be able to contain terrorism, the army chief said: "I devoutly hope it will be able to bring down militancy...I wish them good luck."
Replying to another question, he said that infiltration from across the border had "come down" in border states.
"If [for] the year 2001 [it] is taken as 100 per cent, it has come down to 46 per cent in 2002," he said.
Answering questions on the Tehelka scandal and accusations of corruption in purchase of coffins for Kargil martyrs, General Padmanabhan said he did whatever was expected of him.
"If somebody has done any wrong, he will be dealt with as per the law," he said pointing out that "an armyman is also a slice of the same Indian society. We are subject to the same influences."
Describing vacancies in the army as not a new thing, General Padmanabhan said adequate number of officers were entering the forces and the deficiency was gradually getting filled up.
"Though there were vacancies of over 12,000 officers at one point, it has come down by three to four per cent," he said.
General Padmanabhan is scheduled to visit Puri and the Sun temple at Konark on Friday before visiting the Air Defence College near Gopalpur in Ganjam district.
He would also visit Hirakud, Burla and Sambalpur, where he spent his childhood, army sources said.
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