India faces the threat of coordinated action along the northern and western fronts but its armed forces are capable of responding in “best suitable ways”, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said on Thursday alluding to a joint Pakistani and Chinese threat amid what the country has called new attempts by Beijing to change the status quo in certain areas in eastern Ladakh.
“India faces threat of coordinated action along northern and western fronts which we have to consider in our defence planning… We have conceptualised strategy to deal with threats emerging along northern and western borders,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
In an interactive session at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Gen Rawat said India’s policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China’s pre-eminence in the region.
“China’s economic assistance to PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and continued military and diplomatic support to Pakistan mandates high level of preparations by us,” he said.
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.
“Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Gen Rawat said at the online event.
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 could take advantage of any threat developing along northern borders and create trouble for us,” he said.
Indian armed forces will have to be prepared to meet immediate crisis and simultaneously prepare for the future, he said.
The general’s comments come amid the government saying that it was moved troops to its eastern stretch of border with China since clashes erupted between the two countries on the western part of their border in the Himalayas in June.
The June clash in the Ladakh’s Galwan valley, in the western part of their border, was the worst violence between the two country in decades and there has been little sign of a reduction in tension, with more military action in the past week.