Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Wednesday asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was a historic step and it will help Jammu and Kashmir integrate with mainstream India.

Without naming Pakistan, he said that the revocation of Article 370, that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has “disrupted proxy war” by India’s western neighbour.

Speaking at the 72nd Army Day function in the Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi, Gen MM Naravane said, “Abrogation of Article 370 is a historic step which will connect Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. Its abrogation has disrupted proxy war by our western neighbour”.

While reiterating that the Army has zero-tolerance towards terrorism, Gen MM Naravane said his force has “many options to counter those who promote terror”.

“We have zero-tolerance towards terrorism. We have many options to counter those who promote terror, will not hesitate to use them,” he said and asserted: “We will respond in equal measure.”

General Naravane also conferred medals to the jawans at the Parade ground in Delhi Cantonment area.

Naravane, who succeeded General Bipin Rawat as the Army Chief, has taken a tough stand on Pakistan.

While maintaining that both Northern and Western frontiers are equally important for India, the Army chief had on Saturday said whenever the government gives the go-ahead, his force is ready to take away Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Ahead of the Indian Army Day, the force chief General Naravane had on Tuesday exhorted soldiers deployed along the Actual Ground Position Line, Line of Control and Line of Actual Control and those engaged in responding to the complex challenge of proxy war and internal security situations, to remain vigilant at all times.

Earlier in the day, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Narawane, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh paid tribute at the National War Memorial.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh extended greetings on the occasion of the Army Day.