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Signal to Pakistan: Our soldiers hands are no more tied

Welcoming India s punitive assault along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir that damaged several Pakistani military posts former army chief Shankar Roychowdhury on Tuesday said a signal has gone across the border that the Indian soldiers have now been given a free hand to give befitting replies to hostile action.

This is a signal. The government of India has freed the hands of the Indian army. The army has been told that as per the situation you can give a counter. And the army has also been told that if they want they can go for fire assault said Gen Roychowdhury (retired).

Comparing the policy of the present government with that of its predecessors the General said now the decision making powers for use of heavy weapons have been substantially decentralised.

During our time for artillery fire we had to move headquarters two rungs above or even the army headquarters. We were not allowed to fire without their permission. For mortar fire or medium machine gun fire then we had to take the nod from the authority one rung above us.

So the soldiers facing fire in their bunkers on the Line of Control could do nothing to give a befitting reply he said.

On the contrary the present government has substantially lowered the authorisation for heavy weapons like artillery and mortar. So I feel Indians soldiers are happy. We are of course happy.

The former army chief said India has now made it clear that it would strike whenever and wherever needed.

We have made it clear we will strike where and when we need and where and when we feel like. We have shown that we are capable of striking the general said.

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