Now, army chief Bipin Rawat says China, Pakistan not a threat to India
Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said neither China nor Pakistan is an imminent threat to the country in a departure from his earlier statement wherein he had dubbed the two neighbours India’s northern and western adversaries respectively and that the country needed to be prepared for a two-front war.
“None of the country (China or Pakistan) is a threat,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun on Saturday noon in response to a query.
“What I had said... said,” he went on to add when reminded of his previous remarks made a little over a week after India and China ended one of their worst military face-offs at Doklam at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction.
China had reacted to Rawat’s earlier remark, saying ties between the two countries should not be derailed.
Against the backdrop of Doklam standoff, the general said, army was extra vigilant at the borders and the security forces were taking appropriate action in the “sensitive areas”.
On Kashmir, he said: “We too want peace and tranquillity in Kashmir and we are doing everything to secure it.”
But at the same breath he added, army was keeping its option open for “surgical strikes”.
Kashmir has been witnessing violent protests and clashes since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last year in July.
General Rawat was in Dehradun to attend annual function at Cambrian Hall, his alma mater.
The army chief, who hails from Pauri, studied at Dehradun’s Convent of Jesus and Mary (CJM) till Class 2. Thereafter, he studied at Cambrian Hall between 1969 till 1972 and then did his senior schooling at St. Edward’s School, Shimla.
“I have spent my most memorable days in this school,” he said during the event, dressed in a navy-blue blazer with the school monogram engraved.
He also made special mention of his teacher Shanti Swaroop, who was school coordinator at that time.
Gen touched Swaroop’s feet as a mark of respect and love.
Later talking to reporters, general said the induction of 800 women in the military police, as was planned recently, would be a gradual process as the army “would not get so many women immediately.”