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Strength of Indian Army lies in its apolitical character: Western Command chief

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Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Katiyar, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command

Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Katiyar (File image)

New Delhi: Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Katiyar, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command, on Saturday, said the strength of the Indian Army lies in its apolitical and secular characters, asserting that any compromise on these principles will harm the army.

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"What makes the Indian Army stand out is that we strictly adhere to the two important principles, the first one being our secular approach and second, our apolitical character. It means we respect all religions and steer clear of politics," Lt Gen Katiyar said while addressing soldiers at the Investiture Ceremony of the Western Command here.

"It is necessary to stick to apolitical and secular principles and recognise the fact that any compromise or lack of adherence on these fronts will be harmful to the army," he further emphasised.

Lt Gen Katiyar said that women soldiers will play a very important role in any future war. "A blueprint is being prepared for the recruitment of women soldiers in the army," he said.

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The army displayed its homegrown weapon systems at the ceremony where soldiers were honoured with gallantry awards.

The chief of the Western Command of the Army also stated that in future conflicts, despite advancements in technology, the soldiers' role will remain crucial.

"All positions, all ranks also need to focus on their professional development and physical fitness because the next battle will be high-tech, and it will also be in difficult terrain," he underlined.

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Lt Gen Katiyar said that Agniveers will keep the army youthful, ensuring that the physically fit Agniveers are well-prepared to combat in challenging terrains.

He also emphasised that ongoing global conflicts, such as the Russia-Ukraine war or the Israel-Hamas conflict clearly demonstrate that any country may initiate a war to address its external or internal issues.

"It is important that our preparation should be for the next war, for the future war, and not that we keep rehearsing the wars that happened in the past," Lt Gen Katiyar said.

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