'We live in a world that combines principles with pragmatism': Khurshid on mountain strike corps

New Delhi, July 18 (ANI): A day after the Committee on Security (CCS) gave its nod for raising a mountain strike corps along the Sino-Indian border, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said whatever needs to be done in the national interest will be done from time to time, but added that we live in a world that combines principles with pragmatism.

"I have really no idea except to say that in the national interest from time to time whatever needs to be done; those decisions are taken at appropriate levels in government. But we work for peace as much as we work for preparing for tough times and difficult times. But if we are successful in all the efforts we make towards sustaining and preserving peace then a lot of risk is not necessary," said Khurshid.

"But we live in a world that combines principles with pragmatism and you can't be faulted on either one on principle or pragmatism. So, we try to maintain a rational decent balance," he added.

The Cabinet Committee on Security yesterday gave its approval for raising a mountain strike corps along the China border.

The Cabinet Committee on Security, which was chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, cleared the proposal in its meeting yesterday.

The Indian Army is expected to raise the new Corps' headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal along with two divisions in Bihar and Assam and other units from Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh as part of the plans.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will deploy its force multiplier assets such as six each mid-air refueling tankers and C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft at Panagarh as per the plans.

The Indian Army will also get a number of new armoured and artillery divisions along with it to be deployed along the Northeast region.

The existing Strike Corps in the force include the 1, 2 and 21 Corps are all based close to the Pakistan border, and are mainly armed to fight a land battle unlike the new Corps which will mainly focus on mountain warfare. (ANI)

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