Elaborating on nuclear weapons, the CDS said, "These strategic weapons are weapons of deterrence; they are not meant to be engaging nations in combat."
New Delhi: India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat Wednesday said that India was confident of taking on both China and Pakistan in conventional warfare.
Speaking at the ‘India-US Partnership Summit: Securing the 21st Century’ seminar organised by the Observers Research Foundation (ORF) here on Wednesday, General Rawat said, “It (nuclear weapons) should not be a major concern; as I said these are weapons of deterrence and will come into play only when your conventional deterrence fails. I think conventionally we are very strong; quite capable of dealing with adversaries with our conventional forces."
General Rawat added: "As of now we are quite confident of dealing with both the adversaries in the conventional domain."
Elaborating on nuclear weapons, their role and India's position vis-a-vis the two nuclear-armed neighbours, the CDS said, "These strategic weapons (nuclear weapons) are weapons of deterrence; they are not meant to be engaging nations in combat. If a nation is developing bigger arsenals, new strategies for improving their strategic deterrence, it is basically to ensure that you cannot overtake that nation in a jiffy."
"As far as we are concerned, it is not just the northern neighbour, but our western neighbour too has such weapons systems. We are surrounded by two neighbours that have these strategic weapons. So, we are also evolving our strategies accordingly. Studying the intent of our neighbours that we went for a triad. We are also evolving and developing our capabilities accordingly. We are studying it very carefully," the General added.
Speaking on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the CDS also said that India had anticipated an imminent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in the aftermath of the US pullout of forces. “Only the timelines have changed,” he said.
“I would say that everything that has happened (in Afghanistan) had been anticipated; only the timelines have changed,” he said.
General Rawat said India had already prepared for any security contingency arising for India out of an Taliban-rule Afghanistan.
“From the Indian perspective we were anticipating a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, we were concerned about how terrorist activity could flow out of Afghanistan into India. To that extent our contingency planning had been going on. We are prepared. But the timelines have changed. We were anticipating this thing happening couple of months down the line,” CDS Rawat added.
The Indian CDS was part of the discussion panel that included Admiral John C Acquilino, commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command.
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