Two-front war


A two-front war with Pakistan and China cannot be ruled out, Indian Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said, dismissing the “myth that democracies or nuclear armed” neighbours do not go to war. Addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Rawat also claimed that differences between India and Pakistan could not be reconciled.
The extremist statement is clearly reflective of the fact that it is India, which is not willing to make peace with its neighbours. Pakistan has long been pursuing a policy of serene neighbourhood for the sake of peace and security of the region that is vital for addressing economic woes of the people. Similarly, China has an avowed commitment to peace and instead of bullying other countries on the strength of its military or nuclear might, Beijing has preferred to engage other nations in economic pursuits as vindicated by its historic One Belt, One Road initiative. While making claims about two-front engagement, Rawat, perhaps, forgot what humiliation his country had to face during recent standoff with China over Doklam where New Delhi had to retreat in the face of a real conflict with Beijing. The India Army Chief’s comments that differences with Pakistan could not be reconciled also confirm general perception in Pakistan that India has not reconciled with the reality of an independent and sovereign Pakistan. His statement also shows India has no intention of opting for peaceful resolution of the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir and, instead, prefers beating war drums. This should leave no doubt in the minds of those in Pakistan who believe that India was ready for peace with Pakistan but the real obstacle were some lobbies in Pakistan. Anyhow, if India is ready for war, we should also not lower our guards and take all possible measures to bolster our defence and modernise our forces especially Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force as these remain neglected and as a consequence the enemy has significant edge on air and naval fronts. Pakistan’s commercial and economic interests cannot be secured without enhancing our naval strength.