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Army chief tours forward areas to gauge 'preparedness'

January 21, 2009 13:45 IST

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Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Wednesday went on an unscheduled tour of the forward areas in Rajasthan and Punjab bordering Pakistan to get "first-hand knowledge" of the troops' preparedness.
His trip to the frontlines comes a day after Defence Minister A K Antony dismissed reports doubting the Army's readiness for an offensive in the wake of the Mumbai [Images] terror strikes.
Army headquarters sources told PTI that General Kapoor, who was in the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan yesterday to witness the BrahMos missile test, took the opportunity to go on an unscheduled visit to the forward areas in Bikaner and Bhatinda regions of the two border states.
He would be reviewing the "operational preparedness" of the Army's formations in the region, particularly the Pivot Corps that is located close to the borders to deal with any enemy aggression.
There were media reports that the Army chief had, at a meeting of the Services chiefs with top Cabinet ministers, opposed any suggestion of going on an offensive against terror infrastructure responsible for the Mumbai carnage    

The Navy and the Air Force chiefs, the reports had said, were in favour of a strike and had professed their readiness.
The Army chief had pointed out to some gaping holes in the troops' preparedness and rejected the idea of a strike, the reports added.

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