Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Thursday said the chances of war with Pakistan are very less keeping in mind the economic and development concerns of India.
“Nobody wants war. War causes problems with economy and development. We feel that deterrence should be there but war should not take place. We should keep striving for economic development. But if war like situation arises, then that is what armed forces are there for. The armed forces are always ready, but in my view, the chances of war are very less,” he said.
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Raha was addressing a press meet after President Pranab Mukherjee presented Standards to two IAF units at the air force station here Thursday. He also termed the Pathankot attack a “setback” for the IAF. “This was the first time that the Air Force was specifically targeted by terrorists. They come from across the border and are called non-state actors, but we know what kind of support they get,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the outcome of the visit of Pakistan’s probe team to the air base, he said that after the Uri attack, the matter has “slipped a little bit”. “I am sure attempts will be made to resolve this issue because two neighbours cannot be like this for long,” he said.
Earlier, speaking at the ceremony where he presented the Standards, President Pranab Mukherjee said that while India remains committed to peace, it will use all its might to protect its sovereignty.
“India’s increasing eminence in the comity of nations also draws its strength from the ever-increasing capabilities of our armed forces. Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we will use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. I am confident that our valiant men and women in uniform will rise to the occasion to meet the challenges triumphantly,” he told the IAF personnel present at the event.
The President presented the Standards to two units of the IAF — the Barnala-based 501 Signals Unit and the 30 Squadron, based out of Pune.
The 501 Signals Unit operates radars and is one of the important network-centric units of the IAF which has the capability of looking deep into enemy territory through the aerostat radar system. The 30 Squadron operates the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft.