New Delhi: India’s Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said the country should be prepared for a two-front war with China and Pakistan.
The General insisted that China had started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity portray India as an adversary.
Referring to the 73-day long Dokalam standoff, the Army chief warned that the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on the northern border.
He said there is a possibility that these conflicts could be limited in space and time or can expand into an all out war along the entire frontier, with Pakistan taking advantage of the situation.
“We have to be prepared. In our context, therefore, warfare lies within the realm of reality,” he said.
The Army Chief said India cannot afford to let its guard down against China. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.
“As far as the northern adversary is concerned, the flexing of muscle has started. The salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of the threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations emerging which could gradually emerge into conflict.”
The Army chief rejected the notion that credible deterrence could prevent war and pitched for adequate budgetary allocation for the armed forces.
Talking about Pakistan, Gen. Rawat said there was no scope for any reconciliation with that country.
“As far as our western adversary is considered, we don’t see any scope of reconciliation, because their military, the polity, and the people in that nation have been made to believe that there is an adversary, India, which is all out to break their nation into pieces,” he said.
Gen. Rawat also wondered how long the country will continue to tolerate the proxy war by Pakistan and when it would conclude that Pakistan has crossed the threshold limit, adding the scope of a possible conflict is difficult to predict. He said it was for the political masters to take a call on the issue.
Rawat also explained that credible deterrence does not take away the threat of war.
“Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence. Yes, they are. But to say that they can deter war or they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)