Saturday, October 16, 2010

India: Pakistan a "Major Irritant"

NEW DELHI: India’s army chief Gen V.K. Singh on Friday described China and Pakistan as two major irritants for New Delhi and urged the armed forces to ensure the country had a “substantial” conventional war capability to “fight in a nuclear scenario”.

Inaugurating a seminar “Indian Army: Emerging Roles and Tasks” in New Delhi, he said: “We have two major irritants. One, there is a problem of governance in Pakistan where terror outfits receive support and where internal situation is not very good. And, therefore, it can have a fallout in terms of how these things impact India.

“Till the time the terrorist infrastructure remains intact on the other side, we have something to worry.”
Noting that China was rising both economically and militarily, Gen Singh stressed that the Sino-Indian border was stable but there was a boundary dispute, which was worrying.

“Although we have a very stable border, yet we have a border dispute. And, therefore, the intentions need to be looked at along with this additional capability that is coming out,” Gen Singh said.

“It impacts the way we will task our army and the role that we will give to it so that it can do the task that the nation wants. So, with this, let’s also see what are some of the threats that we face or the challenges that we have.”

He said: “Even though we have a stable border with China, we cannot take chances.”

He told the seminar that an all-out conventional war with China was “not certain”, but skirmishes were “certainly possible”.

“We must have a substantial conventional war-fighting capabilities with the ability to fight in a nuclear scenario,” he stressed.

Gen Singh’s remarks follow comments by Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony to the effect that China was exhibiting “assertiveness” in its military posture in the region and asked the armed forces to remain vigilant to counter any threat.

Reviewing serious threats to India’s national security, Gen Singh said the country’s island territories were vulnerable and these needed to be defended well, the Press Trust of India said.

He also talked about the coastal assets, both military and infrastructural, that were critical for the country’s development and said securing them too was of primary importance.

In this respect, he noted that India’s peninsular projection into the Indian Ocean had provided a gateway for attacks and the country’s subjugation in the past.Though the army chief did not name the Maoists, he said “internal dissent” and insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East were the other threats that needed attention.

From here.

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