Situation at LAC tense; war with China can’t be ruled out: Rawat

New Delhi: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is facing “unanticipated consequences” for its misadventure in eastern Ladakh because of the “firm and strong” responses by the Indian Armed Forces, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said on Friday.

In an address at a virtual seminar, Gen Rawat said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh remained tense and that India’s posturing had been “unambiguous”.

“The situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh remains tense and the People’s Liberation Army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure in Ladakh because of firm and strong responses by the Indian forces,” Gen Rawat said.

“Our posturing is unambiguous. We will not accept any shifting of the Line of Actual Control,” he asserted.

Talking about the overall security calculus, Gen Rawat said border confrontations, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict could not be discounted.

The Chief of Defence Staff also touched on the issue of cross border terrorism from Pakistan and the way it has been dealt with by the Indian Armed Forces.

Referring to security challenges, Gen Rawat said the “constant friction” with the two nuclear-armed neighbours (Pakistan and China) posed a danger of regional strategic instability with the potential for escalation.

He also suggested that the two countries, with whom India had fought wars, were increasingly acting in cohesion.

The Chief of Defence Staff said the “unabated proxy war” unleashed by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir accompanied by “vicious” anti-India rhetoric had taken the ties between the two countries to a new low.

“The surgical strikes after the Uri attack and Balakot airstrikes have delivered a strong message that Pakistan no longer enjoys the impunity of pushing terrorists across the LoC under the nuclear bogey,” Gen Rawat said at the seminar organised by the National Defence College.

He said the new Indian template to deal with terrorism had injected ambiguity and uncertainty in Pakistan, adding India will confront terrorism with a firm hand.

The Chief of Defence Staff said despite internal problems, failing economy, international isolation and vitiated civil-military relations, Pakistan would continue to “profess” that Kashmir was their “unfinished agenda”.

“And their Army will continue to raise the bogey of an existential threat from India to justify their disproportionately large strength and need for funds to maintain its warfighting capabilities,” said Gen Rawat.

The border standoff has entered the sixth month.

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated following at least three attempts by the Chinese soldiers to “intimidate” Indian troops along the northern and southern bank of Pangong lake area between August 29 and September 8 where even shots were fired in the air for the first time at the LAC in 45 years.

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