Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that it is a myth that the entire defence expenditure is utilised only for maintaining military. “Is entire defence expenditure being utilised only for maintaining military? This is a myth I wish to dispel,” said the Army chief during a media interaction.
General Rawat added that almost 35 per cent of the budget allocation for the defence sector is utilised for the purpose of nation building. Among examples he mentioned development of infrastructure in border areas.
“When we develop infrastructure on our borders, we are connecting the people who live in far areas with mainland. This helps in uniting the nation,” said General Rawat.
The Army chief also had a message for Pakistan, saying India has the “option of going to the next level” if the neighbour raises the threshold any higher, referring to repeated incidents of ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC).
“Should they raise the threshold any higher, we have the option of going to the next level. Pakistan is just ensuring that they don’t raise the threshold. The people sitting across the border line are suffering more damage than what we are suffering,” said General Rawat.
He added, “We have made sure that they also face the same brunt. When they find that they have had enough, then we will be able to call for a ceasefire on our terms. We do not want a ceasefire to be called on Pakistan's terms.”
During the same media interaction, Rawat acknowledged the military might of China, saying “Chinese have finally arrived”. The Army chief pointed that China ensured rise of its military power along with its economic prowess.
“Chinese have finally arrived. I can say that. They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy,” said General Rawat. He further acknowledged that China stands “strong today in the world order, challenging the might of the US”.
According to the Army chief, countries across the world have started looking up to India after the rise of China. He said, “As China has risen, countries have started looking up to India to see whether we can also become a nation that can balance the rise of China.”