No extraterritorial ambition: General Rawat
   Date :03-Oct-2019
COAS General Bipin Rawat handed over vehicles and various military spares to Major General Abdulla Shamaal, Chief of Defence Force, Maldives National Defence Force, on Tuesday. These equipments will enhance the operational and functional efficiency of Maldivian Armed Forces. (ANI)
INDIA has no extraterritorial ambitions and does not want to “transplant” its ideology on others, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat has said, asserting that the country will fulfil its regional and global security obligations as a responsible emerging power. In an address to strategic affairs experts and defence personnel in Maldivian capital Male, Rawat also said instability in energy-rich West Asia has the potential to significantly increase global tensions and trigger unrest and that the tension between the US and Iran was “worrisome”. Without naming Pakistan, the Army Chief said Indian Armed Forces are countering a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir on a daily basis and that India reserves the right to acquire military capabilities to counter any security threats emanating from its neighbourhood.
The Army Chief, who is on a five-day visit to Maldives, held extensive talks with the country’s top defence brass to expand bilateral military cooperation. On Wednesday, General Rawat called on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. “Our strategic culture flows from two cardinals -- we have no extraterritorial ambitions and no desire to transplant our ideology on others,” the Army Chief said. At the same time, he said India continues to retain its commitment to strategic independence and autonomy in decision making as well as acquiring military capabilities to counter the security threats and challenges emanating in its neighbourhood. “We seek to fulfil our regional and global security obligations, as a responsible emerging power,” he said.
General Rawat identified “unending threat of terrorism” as the principal challenge facing the entire world while calling proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and increasing assertion of power over international norms as other key challenges. “Instability in West Asia which affects energy security of majority of the nations in the world is another major factor. It has the potential to add significantly to global tensions and create unrest,” the Army Chief said. General Rawat observed that the global security environment is increasingly becoming complex and uncertain, and that many nations are increasingly resorting to nationalism. “I am certain that if we work with friends, we can mitigate the hazards to regional peace,” he said. “Even in this uncertain security environment, economic interdependence, quest for common resources and depth of global engagements drive strategic relationships. As protectionism rises, complex global interdependencies are likely to remain,” he said.
Army chief General Bipin Rawat met Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid highlighting threats in the Indian Ocean region, defence sources said on Wednesday. “The Indian Ocean Region is the lifeline to both our nations,” he said. General Rawat said India’s strategic vision has been in harmony with its traditional character as a peaceful and responsible nation. “Our vision of being a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic is enshrined in the preamble of our Constitution. We have always played a constructive role in international relations. “India’s national security aim is to ensure a conducive internal and external environment for unhindered economic progress and socio-political development so that we can secure all our citizens and assume our rightful place in the emerging world order,” he said. It will be General Rawat’s first foreign visit after taking charge as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from outgoing IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Friday.