Pune: “We should be wary of incidents like Doklam because they are likely to rise in future. We should not lower our guard and should be ready to tackle such issues,” said Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat while delivering the General BC Joshi Memorial Lecture at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Saturday.
Rawat delivered a lecture on ‘India’s challenges in the current geo-strategic construct’. The annual lecture series is in honour of former Army chief General BC Joshi and was instituted by Southern Command Headquarters and University of Pune in 1995.
Rawat said, “With China, there are contested claims to territory, which continue to exist due to differing perceptions on the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Transgressions across LAC do happen. However, we have joint mechanisms in place to address such situations. The recent stand-off at Doklam is a consequence of the Chinese attempting to change the status quo.” He also spoke on issues such as global security, regional security, security dilemmas, internal security, left-wing extremism, UN commitments and focus areas of the armed forces.
Regarding Pakistan, he said, “Pakistan continues to wage a proxy war in J&K and attempts are being made to expand infiltrations across borders in others states along our western front. Increasing presence of fundamentalist transnational actors in Pakistan is a matter of grave concern. Pakistan’s unabated reliance and support to Jihadi groups has serious ramifications, which can lead to the possibility of Pakistan being a conduit for eastward spread of fundamentalism. This is a threat not only to us but for other countries in South and East Asia, including China. The Army will continue to respond proactively with threats from Pakistan.”
During the lecture, Rawat highlighted that India’s strategic vision is in harmony with our traditional character as a peaceful and responsible nation. He also said that India’s national security aim aligns to our need to ensure a conducive internal and external environment for unhindered social-economic development.
Lt Gen PM Hariz, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, Prof Nitin Karmalkar, VC, SPPU, Manjula Joshi, wife of General BC Joshi and former army chief VP Malik, along with other dignitaries including veteran and serving armed forces personnel, besides faculty members and students of SPPU were present during the lecture.