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PM gets a strategic feel of war room

New Delhi, June 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was today given a strategic briefing in the “war room” by the army chief, General Bikram Singh, and senior officials ahead of his first visit to a military platform tomorrow and his first foreign trip (to Bhutan) the day after.

The briefing was attended by, among others, defence minister Arun Jaitley, who is slated to visit Jammu and Kashmir for two days over the weekend, the minister of state for defence, Rao Inderjit Singh, and national security adviser Pankaj Doval.

The briefing, which lasted more than two hours, was on counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.

At the briefing, the army also focused on its plan to raise the Mountain Strike Corps, approved by the UPA II government last year. Modi was told of the formations and units under the new corps —which will be the largest in the army — that are being raised mostly in the east and the Northeast.

On the building of infrastructure on the frontier with China, environment minister Prakash Javadekar had said yesterday that he had eased norms for the military.

The army also briefed Modi and the security establishment on India’s military training exchanges with Afghanistan. The army was understood to have given a prognosis on the withdrawal of US and Nato troops from Afghanistan, scheduled by the end of the year.

The “war room”, or the “military operations directorate”, is an isolated and super secret office in the defence ministry from where the army monitors all security-related movement.

The briefing to the Prime Minister and the government was done through the help of maps, a power-point presentation and sand models.

Modi is scheduled to land tomorrow on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, in the Arabian Sea off Goa. He will be given a glimpse of carrier flying operations. The western naval fleet will also do a “steam-past”, weather permitting. The navy will demonstrate high-speed manoeuvres by its aircraft and warships.