¬†India Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday (Nov 6) claimed that situation at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh remains tense and possibility of a war with China cannot be ruled out. “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 Indian forces,” Gen Rawat said.

“In the overall security calculus: border confrontations, transgressions, unprovoked tactical military actions — spiraling into a larger conflict therefore cannot be discounted,” 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 cannot 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.

His statement came amid an ongoing military talk between India and China at Chushul of Friday. The military level talks underway since 9.30 a.m. were the eighth round.

Referring to security challenges, Gen Rawat said the “constant friction” with the two nuclear-armed neighbours (Pakistan and China) poses a danger of regional strategic instability with the potential for escalation. He also suggested that the two countries with whom India had fought wars are 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 have taken the ties between the two countries to a new low.

India and China have been engaged in a worst seven-month-long border dispute at the LAC. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough.

“The surgical strikes after the Uri attack and Balakot air strikes 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 has injected ambiguity and uncertainty in Pakistan, adding India will confront terrorism with a firm hand.

The CDS said India understand the importance of leveraging defence diplomacy in building mutual trust and partnerships with strategically important countries. He also said that in the coming years, Indian defence industry will be growing exponentially and contribute to the overall defence preparedness. “The industry will deliver us state-of-art weapons and equipment fully made in India,” General Rawat said. The officer said that as India grows in stature, security challenges will rise proportionately.