General Rawat was ready to crush China-Pak

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By: R.K. Sinha

The entire nation is bound to mourn the sudden death of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, in a very sorrowful helicopter accident. Apart from General Rawat, 12 others including his wife Madhulika Rawat, have lost their lives. On December 6, the day marking the 50th anniversary of our victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war, the country was to celebrate and remember the martyrs. The absence of General Rawat will have a profound impact on all those programs. General Rawat was appointed as the country’s first CDS and was also the Chief of the Indian Army before that. He also had a deep understanding of the workings of the Army and the Navy and managed to do a brilliant job of synergizing the three armies.

General Rawat was a keen expert on Chinese affairs and constantly advised the government on the ongoing border conflict with China and Pakistan. He believed that the country would not be suppressed under any circumstances. For their every attack, our country would have a better counterattack. On the ongoing border dispute with China, General Rawat had said that, “There is also a military option to deal with the encroachment of the Chinese army in Ladakh.” Rawat’s statement reassured the citizens that India is prepared for any situation. There was nothing wrong with what he said. It was a well-balanced true statement.

General Rawat never kept the nation in the dark. He had described China as the biggest security threat to India. Some time ago, General Rawat had said, ‘China has become a big security threat to India and thousands of soldiers and weapons the country had sent last year to secure the Himalayan border, will not be able to return to the base for a long time.’ This statement of General Rawat seemed to strike a nerve with China.

China, stunned by Rawat’s statement, said that “Indian Officials not without reason speculate on the so-called ‘Chinese military threat’, which is a serious violation of the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries that China and India do not pose a threat to each other.” China may keep saying anything in its favour, but it is abundantly clear that the real challenge before India is China.

Ever since General Rawat took over the charge of CDS, he was preparing the three wings of the Army so that even if India had to face China-Pakistan together on the battlefield, India would not lag. Due to his strategic thinking, the Indian Army was continuously preparing itself. China-Pakistan watched all these military preparations and became aware of the aggressive mindset of General Rawat. The opinion that General Rawat was expressing about China had been expressed by former Defence Minister late George Fernandes many years ago. He described China as our biggest enemy. After the Pokhran-2 nuclear test, the then NDA government’s Defense Minister George Fernandes had claimed that India’s number one enemy is China.

Political experts believed that George Saheb must have given this statement based on information received during his tenure as the Defense Minister. Apart from George, former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav also believed that China is a bigger enemy of India than Pakistan. After the Doklam controversy in the year 2017, Mulayam Singh Yadav said in the Lok Sabha that the biggest issue for India is not Pakistan but China. Cautioning the central government, he had warned that China is the biggest threat to our security and the government should take it seriously.

However, some experts of Defence also believe that if India ever went to war with China, Pakistan would also openly fight alongside China. Similarly, if Pakistan ever raged a war against India, China would fight alongside Pakistan. Captain Amarinder Singh, a defence expert and the Former Chief Minister of Punjab, has publicly said that Pakistan will not sit still if an India-China war breaks out. They will fight in favour of China.

Of course, given the attitude of China and Pakistan, Indian security forces have to remain vigilant throughout the year on all fronts, land and sea borders. The Indian Forces were performing this responsibility well under the patronage of General Rawat. It is safe to assume that even after the sudden demise of General Rawat, the tension on our borders with China and Pakistan will not end. China isn’t going to give up on its mischievous and underhanded tricks and attacks. Meaning India will continue to face its two enemy countries together on the border every day until they are crushed once and for all. Friendly relations cannot be expected from them. So India has to remain alert always to counter the nefarious antics of these neighbouring countries.

It will be the responsibility of the new CDS of the country to replace General Rawat, to continue the work of strengthening the army like during the time of his predecessor, General Rawat. That will be the nation’s tribute to that great warrior. He was the pride of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand and a warrior of the nation. India shall always remember him with profound gratefulness and respect. (The writer is a senior editor, columnist, and former MP)

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