Ready to deal with Taliban-driven terrorists, says Gen Bipin Rawat

“We were anticipating a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, but the speed with which power changed hands was surprising,” the Chief of Defence Staff said

pension, unsustainable, retirement, 58 years, jawans, army, navy, air force, Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Bipin Rawat
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said India is committed to ensuring a terrorist-free environment in the region.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat on Wednesday (August 25) said that India is prepared to deal with any terrorist activity flowing out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and finding its way into India.

Speaking at an interactive session organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Gen Rawat said India was anticipating a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, but said the speed with which power changed hands surprised him.

“It is pretty much the same; it is the same Taliban that was there 20 years ago. News reports and reports from the expats who have come from there are all telling us the kind of activities the Taliban is into. All that has happened is that the partners have now changed. It is the same Taliban with different partners,” Gen Rawat observed.

The Chief of Defence Staff said India is committed to ensuring a terrorist-free environment in the region.

Advertisement

“As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we will make sure that any activity likely to flow out of Afghanistan and then find its way into India will be dealt with in the manner in which we have been dealing with terrorism in our country,” Gen Rawat said.

Also read: Facing the fear: ‘It’s over, the Talibs have arrived in Kabul’

“I think if any other support can be forthcoming from the Quad nations, in at least identifying the terrorists and getting some intelligence input to fight this global war on terrorism, I think that will be welcomed,” he said.

Gen Rawat said New Delhi was concerned about the possibility of terrorist activities from Afghanistan impacting India and contingency plans were put into place to deal with such a challenge.

“From India’s perspective, we were anticipating a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. We were concerned about how the terrorist activities from Afghanistan could overflow into India,” he said.

“And to that extent, our contingency planning had been ongoing and we are prepared for it. Yes, the timelines certainly surprised us. We were anticipating this thing happening maybe a couple of months down the line,” he added.

His comments came in the backdrop of mounting concerns over the possibility of rise in activities of various terror groups including the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino was also present. Aquilino referred to challenges that India has been facing, specifically with regard to “sovereignty on the Line of Actual Control” as well as the “foundational security concerns” in the South China Sea region, in a clear reference to China’s aggressive behaviour.

The Quad comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.

(With inputs from agencies)

CATCH US ON: