From KO Archives -War with Pakistan possible: Army Chief

New Delhi: Chief of army staff said on Monday that he did not rule out a war with Pakistan and nuclear weapons were not a deterrent, the United News of India reported.

“Having crossed the nuclear threshold does not mean that a conventional war is out,” VP.Malik said “Nuclear deterrence only restricts an all out war employing weapons of mass destruction.”

Malik alleged Pakistan was waging a “proxy war” with India
in (occupied) Kashmir.

“As a military strategist, I will say that if militancy grows too big, both the initiator (Pakistan) and the affected nation (India), are tempted to use conventional weapons’ Malik told a conference on the Indian army.

“The subversion being carried out by Pakistan in the country needs to be handled with a firm grip backed with effective deterrence, Malik said. Malik expressed concern over “the continued Chinese military” aid to some countries in the region, saying it had the potential to fuel tensions with India.” “Development of our strategic missile and nuclear capability will reduce the gap between China and

India and thus scale down the chances of a major confrontation,” he said.

Malik also expressed concern at the rise of the Taliban, saying it had long-term security implications for the region. “If it succeeds, fundamentalism accompanied by violence may soon spread across south, west and central Asia,” he said. Malik said the Indian army was fighting a war while the nation was at peace.

“With the rapidly rising social, political and economic aspirations of groups of multiethnic social structure in the country, the prognosis is not good, particularly when external agencies were ever ready to exploit every vulnerable situation.

‘Today over 350,000 Indian troops are employed in internal security … excessive and continuous involvement of the army in internal security is neither good for the country nor fo the army.

 (KASHMIR OBSERVER, 08  February, 1999)

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