Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that any possible terrorist activity coming from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to India will be dealt with sternly. He also suggested that the ‘quad nations’ should increase cooperation in the global war on terrorism. The CDS has said these things at a time when it is being feared that the activities of terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed may increase from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which target India at the behest of Pakistan. Huh.
General Rawat said that India was apprehensive about the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan, but the speed with which the developments took place there is shocking. He said the organization (Taliban) has not changed even in the last 20 years. He was addressing an event organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) along with Commander Admiral John Aquilino of the US Indo-Pacific Command. Admiral Aquilino, in his remarks, referred to the challenges faced by India regarding China’s aggressive behavior. Especially with regard to “sovereignty along the Line of Actual Control” as well as “basic security concerns” in the South China Sea region.
‘Quad countries share intelligence’
General Rawat said India is committed to ensuring a terrorism-free environment in the region. “As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we will ensure that any movement from there to India is dealt with in the same manner as we are dealing with terrorism in our country,” he said. I think if there is any support from the Quad countries, at least in the form of intelligence gathering to identify terrorists and fight the global war on terrorism, then I think it should be welcomed. Japan and Australia are part of the quad.
‘Taliban’s speed surprised, but we are ready’
General Rawat said that New Delhi is concerned about the possible impact on India of terrorist activities emanating from Afghanistan and emergency plans have been prepared to deal with such challenges. “From India’s point of view, we were apprehensive of Taliban occupation of Afghanistan. We were concerned about how terrorist activities from Afghanistan could reach India. Yes, the speed with which everything happened there has surprised us. We had anticipated that it might happen after a few months.
‘Taliban hasn’t changed in 20 years’
Gen Rawat said that the Taliban has not changed even in the last 20 years and only its allies have changed. “It’s pretty much the same thing,” he said. This is the same Taliban as it was 20 years ago. The information we are getting from the news and the people who have come from there is telling us what the Taliban has been doing. If anything has changed, they are its partners. It is the same Taliban with other allies.
Admiral Aquilino targets China
Admiral Aquilino widely noted the challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region and said it was the most important region of the future. “An attack on the rules-based international order allowing freedom of navigation for all is certainly one of the most pressing challenges,” he said. Aquilino called it a “fundamental security concern.” He said, “There are many more. There is economic pressure, there is corruption. There are challenges in terms of Indian sovereignty, especially on the Line of Actual Control… there are rules against the people of Hong Kong.