Gen NC Vij Takes Over As New Chief Of Army Staff

New Delhi, December 31: | Updated: Jan 1 2003, 05:30am hrs
Indias biggest troop mobilisation along the border - after the December 13 Parliament attack - was the high point of his career as the Chief of Army staff, says Gen S Padmanabhan.

After handing over charge to Gen N C Vij, the outgoing Army Chief told mediapersons, The mobilisation of troops was certainly my proudest moment. The Indian Railways had a major role to play in the mobilisation and they did the job well, he added.

The outgoing chief said it was the misfortune of the Pakistan army that they had Gen Pervez Musharraf as their chief.

However, Gen Padmanabhan - who was also the first Army Chief to serve as Director General of Military Intelligence - did not elaborate as to how Gen Musharraf became a misfortune for Pakistan and asked the media to draw its own conclusions.

Earlier, at a simple ceremony in South Block, Gen Padmanabhan personally put the insignia of the full general on Gen N C Vij and described him as an experienced soldier.

There is nothing which happens here that Gen Vij does not know. He was the director general of military operation during Kargil and was the Vice-Chief of Army staff for a year, Gen Padmanabhan said.

Indian Armys foremost strategist and Kargil war-decorated soldier Gen Vij is the first Army officer from Jammu to hold the coveted post. Fifty-nine year old Gen Vij, a Kargil war decorated soldier, becomes the 21st Chief of Army staff.

Gen Vij has also commanded an anti-insurgency unit as well as a strike corps during his 40-year-long service.