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'India readying for any form of warfare in J&K'

He says India is preparing for any type of battle in J&K as part of its defence strategy.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 20:25 IST

India is preparing for any type of battle, including conventional or nuclear warfare, in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its defence strategy, the air force chief said on Saturday.

Touching on the "changing nature of warfare", Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi pointed out that the Kargil conflict of 1999 was confined to a sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

"What we are planning today is battle, something on the lines of Kargil, a battle that may actually be fought all over Jammu and Kashmir, a battle that may be fought over the Line of Control - what the Pakistanis call the working boundary - a battle which may be fought all over...entire international border...conventional or nuclear warfare," he said.

Delivering the inaugural Air Chief Marshal LM Katre memorial lecture in Bangalore, Tyagi said, "It's firmly believed in Delhi (at the government level) that the next war will be air led, and on the basis on what airpower is able to achieve, the result of the war will be decided."

He said many nations around India are in turmoil, and "there aren't many democratic countries".

Pakistan, ruled by an army chief, is suffering from an immense amount of sectarian violence, and not all oil-rich sheikhdoms are politically stable. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's writ does not run outside the presidential palace, where he is guarded by US marines, Tyagi remarked.

Tyagi expressed doubts on whether China would remain a single party ruled country for long. China is politically and economically stable and growing rapidly. "Is this (single party rule) the final political destiny of China? Perhaps not."

India's political future is assured, but this is not decided in the case of its neighbours, he said.