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India anticipated Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, says Gen Bipin Rawat

Stating that the Taliban is the same as it was two decades, Gen Bipin Rawat said, "Everything that has happened was something that had been anticipated; only the timeline has changed. So from the Indian perspective, we were anticipating the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan."

Gen Bipin Rawat India anticipated Taliban takeover the Afghanistan-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Aug 25, 2021, 5:25 PM IST
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Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that India had been anticipating the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, but was surprised by the 'timeline' in which it happened. 

Stating that the Taliban is the same as it was two decades, Gen Bipin Rawat said, "Everything that has happened was something that had been anticipated; only the timeline has changed. So from the Indian perspective, we were anticipating the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan."

Also Read: 'Taliban will be judged by their actions, not words'

During its previous regime from 1994-2001, Afghanistan under the Taliban used to be a safe haven for terrorist activities. Back then, an Indian Airlines aircraft was hijacked and taken to Kandhar. 

In this regard, Gen Rawat said India has a contingency plan.

Also Read: Who is Ahmad Massoud, the man behind the anti-Taliban resistance?

"We were concerned about how terrorist activities from Afghanistan could overflow into India. To that extent, our contingency planning had been ongoing and we are prepared for that. The timeline has certainly surprised us because we were expecting that this will happen, maybe, in a couple of months down the line. But it is the same Taliban that was 20 years ago," Gen Rawat said during an event organised by the Delhi-based Think Tank Observer Research Foundation titled: 'The India-US Partnership: Securing the 21st Century.'

QUAD

Gen Rawat said that the waters in the oceans flow from one ocean to another and they do not follow 'man-made' boundaries. 

"When we talk about trade and freedom of navigation, we need to look at the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as one entity. That's because you cannot have trade happening only in the Indian Ocean and somebody else is controlling the Pacific Ocean. So it has to be Indo-Pacific and that is what I think it is referred to it as Indo-Pacific region," he said.

As for QUAD, Gen Rawat said, "It is specifically a strategic partnership between four nations for freedom of navigation and disaster mitigation and ecological changes that are happening. But to be able to support each other firstly we need to understand each other."

"We have to understand the language we talk when we talk about the language that what we talk in is military parlance that is important to understand and that can only if you frequent constant interaction with each other that is what we are attempting to do. If the military of QUAd works together, talk to each other and we have to engage with each other and move forward," he added.

Also Read: Ehtesab: Crisis app Afghans using to track information in Afghanistan

Chinese expansion of the nuclear arsenal

Talking about the Chinese expanding their nuclear arsenal, Gen Rawat said, "Strategic weapons are the weapons of deterrence. They are not meant to be engaging nations in combat. If a nation is developing a bigger arsenal and developing new strategies for improving a strategic deterrence, it is basically to ensure that you cannot overtake that nation."

"We are concerned about what is happening anywhere in the region, not just the northern neighbour but even the western neighbour," he said. 

Talking about Pakistan and China he said, "We are surrounded by 2 neighbours armed with strategic weapons. We are evolving our strategy accordingly and developing our capabilities."

Also Read: Joe Biden rejects G7 plea to extend Afghanistan evacuation deadline, says to monitor Taliban actions

"Conventionally, we are very strong and we are quite confident capable of dealing with both adversaries in conventional domain," Gen Rawat said.

Chinese aircraft carrier plan

Underlining that the Chinese Navy was exponentially expanding, Gen Rawat said it is possibly the largest expanding navies in the world. 

"We surely see the threats emerging in the Indo-Pacific region. So we have also to counter by ensuring that we also develop naval armoured accordingly," he said.

"I am sure we will be able to take control of at least the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific along with the partnership that is evolving. A right impetus is being given by our government," the CDS said.

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