The defence sector of India is at a point of take-off and the nation is moving towards transformation to become regional power asserted Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, on Thursday. The remarks came against the backdrop of China’s attempts to change the status quo in certain areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

In an interactive session at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, CDS General Rawat also highlighted that the Centre is committed to making the defence sector more effective.

“India faces the threat of coordinated action along northern and western fronts which we have to be considered in our defence planning. We have devised our strategy as primary and secondary and conceptualised our strategy for both our borders,” he added.

In a warning to Pakistan, he said the country will suffer “heavy losses” if it attempts any misadventure against India taking advantage of the border row with China. The Chief of Defence Staff spoke extensively about how Pakistan has been engaged in a proxy war against India and pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, attempted to spread terrorism in other parts of the country.

“Pakistan has been launching proxy war…want to expand terrorism in other regions…Pakistan could take advantage if a situation develops in northern border…adequate precautions have been taken and they will suffer heavy losses if they attempt misadventure,” said the CDS.

According to news agency PTI, he said that India’s armed forces are capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in “best suitable ways”. General Rawat said India’s policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China’s preeminence in the region, added PTI.

The former Chief of Army Staff said India faces the most complex threats and challenges spanning a full spectrum of possible conflict — from nuclear to sub-conventional — but asserted that the armed forces are ready to deal with them, further added PTI. “Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” reported PTI quoting General Rawat.

Speaking on Quad, he called it a “good arrangement” to “ensure, complete freedom of navigation”, adding “we want the Quad to become a system”

“Frontline troops are not impacted by COVID-19. Few Indian Army men in the hinterland who have come in touch with locals have been impacted by the virus,” he added.

He also touched upon a host of other issues including India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region, the importance of defence and security ties with the US and the government’s focus on self-reliance in defence manufacturing. 





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