Thursday, 11 August, 2022
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Why Modi govt & Army picked this general to protect borders with China & Pakistan

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Lt. Gen. Joshi was not only a hero in the 1999 Kargil war but is also a veteran when it comes to dealing with China.

New Delhi: Soldier-diplomat Lt Gen. Yogesh Kumar Joshi assumed charge of a crucial Army corps covering borders with both China and Pakistan over the weekend – a selection that indicates the importance the Modi government attaches to the sensitive region less than a year before general elections.

All choices for corps commanders are carefully studied before the appointments are made.

Yet, in choosing Joshi to command the 14 Corps, Army Headquarters and the government have selected an officer of outstanding merit who was not only a hero in the 1999 Kargil war but who also went on to deal with China in subsequent tenures, and is an expert on India’s eastern neighbour.

The 14 Corps, also known as the ‘Fire and Fury Corps’ was raised as a consequence of the Kargil War.

Also read: One year after Doklam, China intrudes again — in Ladakh

The frontage of Joshi’s Corps, headquartered in Leh, extends from the Drass-Mashkoh-Tiger Hill area where he fought in 1999 as a Lt. Colonel, through Kargil in the west, passing through Batalik and Turtok – all along the Line of Control in western Ladakh.

It includes the 78-km-long Siachen Glacier before turning south and east into the eastern Karakorams, covering Daulat Beg Oldi, the Chushul Valley including the Pangong Tso lake, the Spanggur Gap right up to Demchok and the Tso Moriri Lake near the border with Himachal Pradesh in the south of eastern Ladakh.

An expert on China

The uniqueness that Joshi brings to his office is not only his knowledge of the Chinese language. He also commanded a brigade and a division in the area.

Just before taking over as the General Officer Commanding the ‘Fire and Fury’ Corps, Joshi was Director General, Infantry, at Army Headquarters.

Joshi was Defence Attache to China (2005-2008) and negotiated the technicalities of the first India-China joint exercise “Hand-in-Hand” in Kunming in 2007. In Kunming that year he told this correspondent at the inauguration: “This is a beginning, let us see where this (India-China joint exercises) goes.”

He handled two sensitive positions on the China desk at the Directorate-General of Military Operations subsequently, cutting through patrolling disputes in Chumar and Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi in Eastern Ladakh, and then giving inputs to resolve last year’s 72-day Doklam stand-off.

“Be assured that General Joshi is being specially appointed keeping the complexities of China-Pak relations in Ladakh and his experience and success with both of them,” a source in the defence ministry told ThePrint.

Also read: China builds defences in PoK territory India claims, carries out joint patrols with Pakistan

One of these complexities is a recent joint patrol by Chinese and Pakistani armies in the vicinity of the Khunjerab Pass; the other is that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that overrides Indian interests passing through territories claimed by New Delhi, is now getting into an intensive phase with more Chinese deployments in territories under Pakistani control.

There are also vulnerabilities that get exploited from time to time, a recent one in June-July was at Demchok where suspected PLA soldiers intruded as graziers.

Next Army chief?

“Outstanding soldier, military leader. Did extremely well as CO (commanding officer) 13 JAK Rif during Kargil. Had a great career thereafter…heartfelt congratulations and best wishes,” General V.P. Malik (retired), who was the Army chief during the Kargil operations, tweeted on learning of Joshi’s appointment.

At one point during the war, Joshi, commanding his unit, the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rif), took over a gun emplacement from a nervous young soldier and began firing himself. In the Bollywood movie LOC Kargil that was subsequently made, his character, essayed by Sanjay Dutt, was known as “Jo”.

Joshi could be in the reckoning as the Army chief after General Bipin Rawat’s scheduled tenure ends in December 2019. But, as Rawat’s appointment has shown, the Centre does not go by seniority or by mere convention in choosing service heads. The Modi government executes its political prerogative to make senior appointments.

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  1. Ravi Shankar is mad. One does not become a General in our army like one becomes a petty official. There is a selectipn process as he will be responsible for thousands of lives and has to guard the nation. A General does not comecinto contact with the PM. There is a military leadership that he hascto interact.

  2. Great things great knowledge if gen yk joshi selection to be next chief of army staffs after retaire of gn bipin rawat, gn joshi is excellient ltgen of Indian army. I as personal know gn Joe his excellient service in army was really appreciable. May almighty blessed ltgen yk joshi and his all banks and his family. SH Goba Ete, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, WEST SIANG DIST, AALO.

  3. You never know/ these officers of elite corps of Indian Army related to different zeal, Josh & discipline above all .May Almighty provide them best health to serve our nation /motherland .congrats to Indian army for the pride they earn by reaching high standards everyday and always Wel done my Army & live long. India by these quility officers. How can I forget these 3 power house ; NDA Kharakwasla ,IMA Dehradoon & OTA Chennai

  4. I think Paki bots are trying to spread the ill will here. Trying to show top leadership in poor light. They know they are are going to get a kick on the arse soon.

    Appointments in armed forces are thoroughly vetted at every stage. These are not political or civil services appointments where you get postings by having right connections.

    So keep politics out of it. Prople reaching the top in armed forces are there by sheer merit.

  5. Mr. Ravi shankar, how can you just ignore the capabilities of Lt. gen Joshi and call him puppet just because this is not a decision taken by your favoured political party ? The appointment is simply on merit keeping with best interests of our country. How can you be so judgemental that this appointment will make Indian defence vulnerable even before he has commenced work on his post ?
    Talking as if you would have done a better job !!

  6. This story appears to be a plant or a fake news. The correspondent who has reported this article does know nothing about army’s promotion system. A corps commander has to become an army commander before he is even considered to become the COAS and the entire proess takes minimum 4 years. The current chief is retiring in Dec 2019 that’s just one year three months hence

  7. All generals at that level are equally competent to head any corps of the Indian Army. As regards expertise on China is concerned, so called China experts know as much as Chinese would want them to know. Publicity for routine postings of army generals should be best avoided by the media.

  8. Mr. Ravi Shankar surely appears to live in fool’s paradise.
    He feels that a leader with a spotless character overwhelmingly elected by our nation is working to damage the interests of the same nation.
    He is forgetting or purposely overlooking how single handedly Modiji made Gujrat no. 1 state and turned it into most aspirational also.
    Appers clearly that Mr. Ravi is either a Modi-hater or Pappu Lover or both.

    • Totally agree with you. This benefit seeking, blind politics and groupism is the root cause that India’s might to become super power is getting delayed day by day.

      His agitation is justified. He might be one of those who had huge stash of cash before Nov 2016 or was robbing the govt off sales Tax until July 2017.

      We can understand Mr. ravi shankar.

  9. Army Chief has is responsible for honour safety and welfare of serving army, veterans and widows. These groups do not agitate and maintain traditional discipline. A puppet Chief is a ” yes man”, dangerous for the fabric of soldier fraternity. So, he is dangerous for the idea of India too.
    Let’s hope, the next Chief fits the bill.

  10. Let Army be run as per the army tradition and civilian to lay off .
    No explanation no comment by any one .Gp Capt bk das

  11. Modi government selected a Puppet to toe their line and weaken the defence forces through internal dissent.

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