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Can’t divulge information on mountain strike corps: Parrikar


New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday refused to divulge information on the mountain strike corps being raised by the Indian Army, saying it would not be in the "national interest".

The minister was asked in the Rajya Sabha whether the "most ambitious plan to deal with Chinese challenge — raising a dedicated Mountain Strike Corps — was languishing for lack of government attention and financial allocation".

Rajya Sabha member Dilip Kumar Tirkey also asked him about "the future strategy of the government to deal with Chinese challenges".

The defence minister, in a written reply, said: "Military capacity enhancement is a dynamic and continuous process based on threat perception. Appropriate measures including force accretion are accordingly taken from time to time to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of the country."

"However, disclosure of further details in this regard on the floor of the house will not be in the national interest," Parrikar said.

Following reports that the army was struggling to raise the mountain strike corps due to lack of budgetary support, the Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, said in January that the corps will be raised by 2021, keeping the timeline of nine years decided initially.

According to sources, the Army Commanders’ Conference that is underway in the national capital will also discuss the issue.

The mountain strike corps is being raised with focus on China, along the eastern border in the Himalayas. It will be India’s first mountain strike corps.

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