In­dia wary of as­sertive China, in­tru­sive Pak­istan: IAF chief Raha

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL - BEN­GALURU—

With the strate­gic grav­ity shift­ing from west to east, es­pe­cially to Asia and Asia Pa­cific, “In­dia faces se­cu­rity chal­lenges in the re­gion due to an as­sertive China and an in­tru­sive Pak­istan”, the IAF chief, Air Chief Mar­shal Arup Raha, said on Satur­day.

“The sit­u­a­tion is not good for the en­vi­ron­ment, as peace­ful rise of China re­mains a dis­tant dream. An as­sertive China is in­vest­ing heav­ily in de­vel­op­ing mil­i­tary power, es­pe­cially aero­space power, lay­ing claims on in­ter­na­tional wa­ters, is­land ter­ri­to­ries and air space over South China Sea and East China Sea,” Raha said dur­ing the Eighth An­nual Air Chief Mar­shal LM Ka­tre Memo­rial Lec­ture.

Not­ing that the sit­u­a­tion in South Asia spawn­ing Afghanistan and Pak­istan was go­ing to be del­i­cate, es­pe­cially after the with­drawal of the US-led al­lied forces, the chief of air staff said Pak­istan was the foun­tain­head of ter­ror­ism, en­cour­ag­ing ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties de­spite be­ing a part of the global war on ter­ror.“With­drawal of Amer­i­can and western forces from Afghanistan will cre­ate a very del­i­cate sit­u­a­tion for In­dia in terms of some con­ven­tional threats to us. Sim­i­larly, the IS (Is­lamic State) gain­ing strength in West Asia poses another chal­lenge for us to deal with proper plan­ning and in­duc­tion of forces, es­pe­cially aero­space power,” he said. Raha said China was de­vel­op­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to fight ma­jor con­flicts over the next 35 years, as men­tioned by a se­cu­rity an­a­lyst in Hong Kong in an ar­ti­cle re­cently.—Ians

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