Sanjha Morcha

Need to shift focus from Pak to China, says army chief

For too long, we have kept our focus on the western front.. Time has come to focus on the northern border… Infrastructure development has to be speeded up.
BIPIN RAWAT, Army chief

NEW DELHI: Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday that India needs to shift its military focus from its western border with Pakistan to its northern border with China, and called for partnerships with neighbouring countries to check China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Naming Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan and Afghanistan, Rawat asserted that India must not let these nations “drift away from us”. China is a “powerful country”, he said, but stressed that India isn’t a “weak nation”.

Talking to reporters at his customary briefing before Army Day on January 15, the general said that Chinese troops were still present in reduced numbers in north Doklam — a plateau at the strategic IndiaBhutan-China tri-junction where India and China were locked in a 73-day border standoff last year.

“This de-escalation may have happened due to winter. They may return here or somewhere else after the winter months. If they come again, we will see what to do,” Rawat said, responding to a question on the situation in Doklam.

He said the Indian Army had intensified patrolling along the Line of Actual Control and that had led to an increase in contacts with the Chinese army.

“We are seeking support of other nations to see we are not isolated in a situation in Asia against an assertive China. Thatis the next step that is being taken and therefore you will find that a quadrilateral is formed,” Rawat said, referring to the grouping of the US, India, Japan and Australia in the IndoPacific.

On the western front, Rawat said the Indian Army was ready to call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff. “If we really have to confront the Pakistanis and the country gives us a task, we are not going to say we will not cross the border because they have nuclear weapons,” he said. NEW DELHI: Social media and government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a ‘disinformation campaign’ resulting in radicalisation of youth, Army chief General Bipin Rawat claimed on Friday, and called for ‘some control’ over mosques and madrasas in the state.

He said a “major revamp” of the education system was needed in the state to deal with the problem.

Rawat said the issue of exercising some amount of control over mosques and madrasas to check the flow of disinformation was being looked into.


Addressing a press conference on the eve of the Army Day, Rawat said each classroom in government schools in Jammu and Kashmir has a separate map of the state besides that of India which sowed the seeds of thought of some kind of “separate identity” among the children.

“The damage done to us is through the social media. A very large amount of disinformation campaign is being spread in Jammu and Kashmir which is radicalising the youths through the social media and through the schools,” he said.

“The other issue is the madrasas and masjids — what is being informed to them (the students) or incorrectly informed to them is through the madrasas and masjids. I think some controls have to be exercised there and that is what we are looking at.” He, however, did not elaborate on what kind of control he was suggesting over such institutions.


Rawat also suggested that some stone-pelters in Kashmir were youth from government schools, and stressed on the need to reform the education system.

“If you go to any Kashmir school, you will find two maps — one is the map of India and one is the map of Jammu and Kashmir. There are always two maps in every classroom. Why should there be a map of Jammu and Kashmir?”

He added, “If you are putting a map of Jammu and Kashmir, then you may as well put map of every state,” said the Army chief.

“What does it mean to children that I am part of the country but I also have a separate identity. So, the basic, grassroots problem lies here is the way the education in Jammu and Kashmir in government school has been corrupted,” said Rawat.

He said students from schools like DPS were not found involved in activities like stone-pelting, and added that is why the ‘goodwill schools’ run by the Army are accorded higher status.

Rawat noted that opening of more public schools and CBSE schools, was the way forward.

China incursions up, but lower than 2014

EW DELHI: The number of incursions by China’s army into Indian territory in 2017 rose to 397 from 260 in 2016, but the number was almost the same in 2015 (391) and 2013 (401), and much lower than in 2014 (507), indicating that last year isn’t what statisticians would call the outlier, but rather a normal year (in terms of Chinese incursions) when seen over a five-year period.

India and China share an uneasy relationship across a 3,488km Line of Actual Control and the two countries were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam in Bhutan, near the trijunction of the three countries.

The data on incursions, accessed from security agencies, show that they are almost exclusively concentrated in Pangong Tso, Chumar, Samar Lungpa, Kongka La, Spanggur Gap and Mount Sajum in eastern Ladakh sector, Kaurik in HP.