Ready to call Pakistan's 'nuclear bluff', says Indian army chief

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"We are prepared", said Army chief General Bipin Rawat, in the backdrop of the People's Liberation Army needling India with as many as 415 "border transgressions" across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) past year, which also saw the 73-day face-off at Doklam and 215 other troop confrontations. Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army approach has been to ensure that it feels the pain, he said.

"We can not allow our neighbours to drift away to China", PTI quoted him as saying.

Addressing his annual media conference on the eve of Army Day, Gen Rawat said India had to stop Chinese troops from making the road in southern Doklam since otherwise it would have altered the status quo by allowing China to claim the whole Doklam plateau.

Speaking on the occasion General Rawat complimented DRDO and said CBRN threat is becoming a reality, particularly from the "non-state actors" and he is sure that DRDO's long-term perspective plan in conjunction and integrated perspective plan of the services must encompass development of mitigation of technologies against such CBRN threats.

But even as Indian Army continues its punitive fire assaults to "inflict pain" on Pakistan Army for actively abetting cross-border terrorism and infiltration, with the latter suffering "three to four times more casualties", Gen Rawat said his force was "shifting its focus" from the western front to the "northern borders" with China. But now, the focus will be shifted to areas in North Kashmir, he said. "The Chinese are also very clear", he said.

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However, Rawat admitted that the Chinese troop strength in Doklam had gone down recently.

He said the terrain along the northern borders was in favour of India.

He asked for a "wait-and-watch" approach on the impact of United States pressure on Pakistan, arguing that the U.S. also has its own compulsions vis-à-vis Pakistan.

The issue has been resolved through established mechanism, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said yesterday. They had said the civilian teams went back when confronted by the Indian troops, but left behind two excavators and some other equipment. "We returned to our side on the watershed and the Chinese moved by an equal distance", he said. "I think we should wait and watch", he said.

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