"There is nothing called 'Cold Start' in the Indian Army," he said reacting to WikiLeak documents in which US Ambassador Timothy Roemer analyses India's military approach towards Pakistan in the wake of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.
Dismissing Roemer's description of the Indian Army's mobilisation process as "slow and lumbering", the army chief said, "We don't necessarily agree with that perception. We know what has to be done." He said the Indian Army has "things in place". "We practice our contingency depending on situations. We are confident that we will be able to exercise the contingency when the time comes," he added.
Asked about the slow process of modernisation of the armed forces, Singh explained that it is mainly due to procedures and the fact that authorities want to be cautious to ensure nothing goes wrong. "We are aware that the modernisation process is subject to procedures of procurement. It takes at least two years, sometimes it may take more because somebody raises an issue about a company -- that this company is doing this and that. It may be blacklisted. It happened in the case of Bofors," he added.
According to Singh, the army faces problems procedurally because India is a democracy and nobody wanted to take a chance.
To a question whether with all these problems India could be called a fighting force, he asserted, "100 per cent. We are capable of achieving what we want." Singh said that no force anywhere that could have 100 per cent modernisation. "Anywhere, ideally, 30 per cent will be old legacy, 30-40 per cent will be in the process of modernisation and another 30-40 per cent will be totally modernised."
The army chief said in a big country like India, modernisation would take time because of manufacturing and other issues. "All that I can say is that whatever we have, whether it is old or otherwise, we are still capable of what we want to achieve," he emphasised.