Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Wednesday commented on India’s relations with its neighbours across the borders. In a veiled attack at Pakistan, he said there was a need to “disrupt terrorists and their sponsors,” while he remained cautious with regard to the situation at Doklam, despite the thinning of PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) soldiers.
In an interaction at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Rawat claimed terrorists were using high-tech systems to infiltrate the border and were resorting to the internet and social media. “Terrorists are using systems which are highly technology enabled and transcending international borders. We need to disrupt terrorists and their sponsors. We need to identify nations who are sponsors,” he said.
On India’s relations with China, he said the “bonhomie” has been restored to the state it was before the Doklam standoff. “I think the bonhomie has returned to what was prior to Doklam, so I don’t visualise a very serious trouble. But then one has to be prepared for it always,” he said. “It is anybody’s guess whether they would come back… But we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them.
This is not the first time Rawat has used strong words against the countries. In the recent past, the Army Chief has warned of stepping up military offensive against provocative action.
“The de-escalation by the Chinese could be due to winter months. Should they (the Chinese) come in again, we will take a call on how to deal with it,” he said, while addressing the annual media conference on the eve of Army Day. “We understand China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation,” he added.
Rawat said the focus has, for too long, been on western borders and has to shift to the north. “Dealing with ceasefire violations, LoC, terrorists, the Army has been told by the government to conduct operations as it deems fit,” he said. “Terrorists are a disposable commodity for Pakistan. Unless the pain is not felt by its forces, and it is a victim of its own actions, Pakistan army won’t learn.”
He has in the past warned Pakistan, “We will keep effectively retaliating to any provocative action by Pakistan. If we are forced, then we may resort to ‘other action’ by stepping up military offensive,” reported news agency PTI. “Pakistan Army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. We are using our might to teach them a lesson.”
He has warned that the threat of nuclear and chemical warfare falling into the hands of terrorists would be disastrous for humanity. Turning to the future, he also cautioned, “We should start preparing for the next kind of warfare, which are cyber and information warfare.”
(With inputs from PTI)