Army chief Bipin Rawat on February 21 assured the people of India that the “situation in Doklam is absolutely fine” and “there is no reason to worry” after reports of China developing defence infrastructure near the strategically key area surfaced.
Attending a conference on bridging gaps and securing borders in the north-eastern region, Rawat, without naming China and Pakistan and said they are helping each other in the influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh into India’s northeastern states.
“Migration from Bangladesh is due to two reasons. One, they are running out of space. Large areas get flooded during the monsoon and they have constricted area to stay. Other issue is planned immigration taking place because of our western neighbour. They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over. This proxy dimension of warfare is well played by our western neighbour & supported by our northern neighbour.”
In his remark, he also said that the Assam-based party All India United Democratic Front had “grown faster” than the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state.
“AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) have grown in a faster time-frame than the BJP grew over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh with two MPs & where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam, ” Rawat said.
Present at the conference, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, on the Doklam issue said, “However frequent instance of transgression by the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) across the LAC and the recent standoff at Doklam are indications of increasing assertiveness of China, as it makes rapid progress both economically and militarily. The recent developments have also underscored the vulnerability of Siliguri corridor.”
The comment on Pakistan has drawn sharp criticism from All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi. Owaisi has asked Rawat to stay off the political issues in a tweet.
“The Army Chief should not interfere in political matters it is not his work to comment on the rise of a political party, Democracy and Constitution allow it and Army will always work under an Elected Civilian leadership.”