Indian army chief acknowledges China as powerful country

 
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New Delhi, Jan. 12 (TNS): Acknowledging that China is exerting pressure on the Indian border, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat  said that China is a powerful country but India is ‘not a weak nation’.

“The time had come for India to shift focus to its northern border. The country is capable of handling China’s assertiveness. China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation,” Bipin said, Times of India reported.

Recognising the threat posed by China on the Indian border, Rawat stated that the troops are ready to tackle any aggressive maneuvering China may take up.

Referring to the US’ warnings to Pakistan over its handling of terrorism, Rawat said India will have to wait and see its impact.

“Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army approach has been to ensure that it feels the pain,” he said.

On the issue of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), he said that the ‘counterinsurgency operations will be shifted to the northern areas this year’.

“In 2017, our focus of the operations was in South Kashmir. This year it will shift to North Kashmir’s Baramulla, Pattan, Handwara, Kupwara, Sopore and Lolab, and some northern areas of Bandipore so that the infiltration can be thwarted there,” he said.

Stressing on the need of inducting modern weaponry to prepare the army to fight battles of the future, he said, “We need modern weapons and technology. We have to look at what we require to fight the future wars. We have to get systems that are best suited for our requirements.”

The Indian general also informed the media about the preparedness of the armed forces to move ammunition and contingencies in times of conflict.

The Indian army chief earlier claimed that India must be prepared for a potential two-front war with China and Pakistan as reconciliation with the latter looked bleak.

Referring to the 2017 10-week standoff with the Chinese army in the Himalayas, Rawat said the situation on India’s northern border could deteriorate in the future, in which case, Pakistan on the western front could take advantage of the situation.

According to the Press Trust of India, Rawat said credible deterrence did not take away the threat of war. “Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence. Yes, they are. But to say that they can deter war or they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true,” PTI quoted him as saying.