The new Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said his force is prepared for a two-front war involving Pakistan and China simultaneously but emphasised on the need to look at cooperation and not confrontation with Beijing.

Rawat, who took over as the 27th Army chief from Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag on December 31 was speaking to reporters in Delhi after inspecting the Guard of Honour at the South Block.

b’Bipin Rawat/Source: PTI’

Here are the things he said:

”The two-front is a real scenario. Much has changed from before in terms of our capabilities…The Army, Navy and IAF are now jointly very much prepared for such an eventuality.”

”Our country, our army wants peace and tranquility at the border. But it does not mean that we are weak. We are capable and powerful in all forms and if need be, we will not shy away from flexing our muscles”

On Surgical strikes

”If the need arises… we can strike effectively. The surgical strikes achieved good success. The aim and intention was fully achieved. We are not a war mongering nation but there are certain thresholds that shouldn’t be crossed. Our response will vary” 

On China:

”While we may be competing with each other for space, economic development, prosperity, there are also areas of cooperation. And I think that should be our focus area. Rather than looking at confrontation, we need to look at cooperation with China”.

b’New army chief General Bipin Rawat during the guard of honour at South Block in New Delhi/Source: PTI’

On his role and responsibility as the new army chief

”I am fully conscious of my responsibility to the rank and file of the army. Every individual, every soldier in the army counts irrespective of the arms and service he belongs to because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the army efficient and strong” 

“I respect the officers who have been superseded. They have worked with me shoulder-to-shoulder and I can say it for certain that they will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder to keep the unity and power of the army in the future also.” 

“We are duty bound to maintain the security and sanctity of our borders, assist the government in the maintenance of internal law and order and also provide succour during any disaster that may befall any part of our nation.”