New Delhi: Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane addresses during the annual press conference at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi on Jan 11, 2020. . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 20 : Welcoming the apex court judgment on permanent commission to women officers, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Thursday that the force did not discriminate between its members on the basis of religion, caste, creed or gender.

"Indian Army's outlook has been like this throughout. That's why we started inducting women officers as early as 1993," Naravane said.

His assertion came in the wake of Supreme Court's order to grant permanent commission to women officers within three months.

"The decision is welcome as it brings a sense of clarity and purpose to gainfully employ officers for better efficiency of the organisation," he said.

Naravane said the Army had taken the initiative to induct women in its rank and file, pointing out that the first batch of 100 women soldiers is presently undergoing training at the Corps of Military Police Centre and School, Bengaluru.

He assured that everybody in the Army, including women officers, will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the nation as also progress in their careers.

Asked about the new Army headquarters, he said the proposed Thal Sena Bhawan in Delhi Cantt will bring all Army offices under one roof to help improve efficiency, reduce carbon footprint and logistics requirements.

"It will also allow more family time for all the soldiers on peace postings in Delhi," the Naravane said.

On the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris and its effect on Pakistan's terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, Naravane said, "China has also realised that they cannot back their all-weather friend (Pakistan) all the time.

"If the FATF comes down heavily on them, they may have to do a rethink on their rhetoric and activities. FATF is a factor (in the reduction of terror activities in Kashmir Valley)." He added that a 'summer strategy' will be put in place as infiltration bids may go up in the next few months.

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