Amid fresh engagement by Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has warned of a two-front threat from China and Pakistan, while asserting that Indian forces are fully equipped to handle it.
Rawat told a US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Thursday (September 3) that coordinated action by both the countries looms large at a time when they are building military, economic and diplomatic collaborations.
“Chinese economic cooperation with Pakistan, in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, along with continued military, economic and diplomatic support mandate high levels of preparation by us,” he said. “This also poses the threat of coordinated action along the northern and western fronts, which we have to consider in our defence planning”.
Rawat, however, was confident that Indian troops would be successfully able to thwart any such threat and have already laid out a plan. The key would be to identify a primary and secondary front to conduct operations, he said.
“Should any threat develop along our northern borders, Pakistan could take advantage of that and create some trouble on the northern border, and therefore we have taken adequate precautions to ensure that any such misadventure by Pakistan is thwarted, and they are not able to succeed in their mission. In fact, they may suffer heavy losses should they attempt any misadventure,” he said.
The CDS said while Pakistan has launched a proxy war and has been sponsoring, training, arming and equipping terrorists to enable them to infiltrate Jammu and Kashmir, China with whom India has been conducting bilateral military exercises for long, and has established protocols since 1993, has resorted to aggression of late.
“…but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable way. We have our tri-services, that is the Army, Navy and Air Force, capable of dealing with threats along the frontiers,” he said.
Rawat’s statement came on a day Army chief General MM Naravane inspected the forward areas in eastern Ladakh, following recent engagement between Indian and Chinese troops at the Pangong Tso region. Rawat was said to have visited the Chushul sector, which houses Pangong Tso and Rechin La, unoccupied heights of which the Indian Army occupied last week.
Earlier, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria visited the Hasimara and Kalaikunda bases in West Bengal.