If Pakistan is willing to become secular like us, then they seem to have an opportunity, says Gen Rawat

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Nov 30: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has reacted to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's statements.  On Imran Khan's statement that if France and Germany can stay together why not India and Pakistan, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that for Pakistan to stay together with India, it will first have to become a secular state. He said, " Pakistan has made its state an Islamic State. If they have to stay together with India, then they've to develop as a secular state. We are a secular state. If they're willing to become secular like us, then they seem to have an opportunity."General Rawat made the statement while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of 135th course of National Defence Academy in Pune, which he reviewed on Friday morning."They're (Pak) saying you take one step, we'll take 2. There is a contradiction in what they're saying. 1 step from there should come in a positive manner,we'll see if the step has an effect on the ground. Till then our nation has a clear policy- terror and talks can't go together," stated the General as a matter of fact.

General Rawat also spoke about the scope of increasing the role of women in the Armed forces and said that areas like information warfare, psychological warfare and role as interpreters in military diplomacy are some of the areas where there will be a bigger role played by women in coming days."Seeing if women can be given Permanent Commission. In some fields where we need permanency&male officers in a command-oriented Army don't fit everywhere.Keeping women officers in fields like language interpreter, military diplomacy will be beneficial,"General said adding, "You'll see increase in role of women in Armed forces. We haven't yet taken them in front-line combat role. We feel we aren't yet ready. Western nations are more open. Boys and girls are operating together in big cities here but people in Army don't only come from big cities."