CDS Rawat: Must plan for two-pronged conflict

The Indian armed forces are capable of suitably dealing with China’s aggressive actions along the LAC, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat said, while warning Pakistan against trying to take advantage of the ongoing confrontation in eastern Ladakh.

Speaking at a webinar organised by an American think-tank, Gen Rawat said India faced the “threat of coordinated action along the northern and western fronts” with China and Pakistan. This collusive threat needed to be factored into defence planning, he said. “If any threat develops around our northern borders, Pakistan could take advantage of that and create some trouble for us. Therefore, we have taken adequate precautions to ensure that any such misadventure by Pakistan is thwarted. In fact, Pakistan may suffer heavy losses should it attempt any misadventure,” Gen Rawat said.

Noting that the Indian armed forces will have to be prepared to meet the immediate crisis and concurrently prepare for the future, the CDS said, “Our policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China’s pre-eminence.” China’s continuing infrastructure development in Tibet, development of strategic railway lines and reforms in PLA are being closely studied by India, he said. On the other hand, Pakistan has been conducting a proxy war, sponsoring and equipping terrorists from its soil to create trouble in J&K for years.

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