Chinese troops as by the earlier reports were just a 100 metres away from the Doklam even after the 73 day face-off ended as mutually announced by both governments. Gen Bikram Rawat said that all the efforts were made to ensure that no conflict takes place during the last stand off between the Indian army and the PLA. He also said that the focus of India should shift from Western borders to Northern Borders from now.
The army chief was addressing his annual media conference on the eve of the army day. Gen Rawat explained the significance of Doklam. India had to stop the Chinese troops constructing a road at South Doklam, or it would have allowed the Chinese to claim the whole Doklam plateau.
“The process of disengagement at Doklam was to ensure that the soldiers of two armies are not face-to-face. We returned to our side on the watershed and the Chinese moved by an equal distance,” he said. “The Chinese are still there in north Doklam area. There is thinning happening, a large amount of troops have gone out (from the time of the face-off) but Chinese tents, observation posts, storage shelters and structures remain there.”
“The de-escalation by the Chinese could be due to winter months. These temporary structures are there, (and) there is a possibility of Chinese movement after the winter. Should they (the Chinese) come in again, we will take a call on how to deal with it.” Gen Rawat said, “We understand China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation. Militarily, the focus has to shift to the northern borders — for too long we have focused on the western borders. The development of infrastructure needs to be stepped up, and requirement of systems met. We should start preparing for the next kind of warfare, which are cyber and information warfare.”
He also stated that terrorism isn’t over in Jammu and Kashmir. The army will have to focus on North Kashmir, shifting focus from South Kashmir. “Dealing with ceasefire violations, LoC, terrorists, the Army has been told by the government to conduct operations as it deems fit,” Gen Rawat as quoted by Indian Express.
“Terrorists are a disposable commodity for Pakistan. Unless the pain is not felt by its forces, and it is a victim of its own actions, Pakistan army won’t learn,” he said. “It is again and again asking for going back to the 2003 ceasefire because of the pain felt,” the Army chief said. “If there is a drop in infiltration from Pakistani side, we are willing to call a ceasefire.” Claiming that the Army has achieved success in destroying Pakistani posts on the LoC, Gen Rawat claimed that while “both sides have suffered casualties on the LoC, they are much higher — at least three or four times (higher) — on Pakistani side.”