New Delhi: Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Tuesday asserted that the Indian Army is prepared to face all challenges to national security and foil the designs of the enemy against the backdrop of nationwide anger over the beheading of a soldier by Pakistani troops on the LoC.

READ MORE: 65th Indian Army Day celebrated

Addressing the 65th Army Day parade, the Army Chief also flagged the issue of human rights saying Indian Army's record is the best in the world as far as human rights is concerned.

Noting that the Indian Army personnel work in tough terrain like Siachen, Singh said they discharge their duties in those areas while "following the principles of war and human rights".

Singh said the Indian Army has kept its operational preparedness at the highest level in view of various challenges.

"I want to assure the nation that Indian Army is prepared to face all challenges to national security....Every solider of the Indian Army is ready to face any challenge and we are ready to make any sacrifice for the security of the nation..."

"Indian Army is always prepared for securing boundaries of the nation and foil the designs of the enemy...It deals with all challenges in a professional manner," the Army chief said in his speech in which he also touched upon issues like modernisation of forces and their parity with civil administration.

Talking tough over the killing of two Indian jawans by Pakistan Army on January 8 in Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir, the Army Chief had yesterday warned Pakistan that India reserves the right to retaliate at the "time and place" of its choosing.

While talking about the modernisation plan of the Army including the induction of attack helicopters and other equipments in the force, Singh said at the parade, "We understand the importance of human mind working behind the machine".

The Army chief expressed confidence that the Army, the Airforce, the Navy, central paramilitary forces and the police will together provide a strong safety shield to the country.

He also talked about plans for construction of rehabilitation homes and one old age home in each command area for the welfare of the Army personnel.

Meanwhile, lauding the performance and dedication of the Army, Defence Minister AK Antony said, “The Indian Army has displayed its professionalism in almost every situation. I assure the armed forces that the government is committed to the betterment and welfare of the forces.”

In his message President Pranab Mukherjee said, “Our Army has consistently performed all its duties to keep the national security and integrity intact.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “I join my fellow citizens in honouring the Indian Army for its exceptional service to the country.”

Army Day is celebrated on 15th January every year, in recognition of Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa’s taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.

(JPN/Agencies)

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