Army chief General Bipin Rawat today said every Army has to prepare for conflict and that is its task. Rawat was responding to a question by reporters about Chinese President Xi Jinping asking his country’s armed forces to improve their combat capabilities and readiness for war, and also his own remarks on the Doklam situation yesterday. “Every army has to prepare for conflict, that is the task of every army, so there is nothing new in anybody saying it. I also have to keep preparing…in peace time we all train and prepare for any eventualities, so there is nothing new in it,” he said.
Rawat had said at Belagavi in Karnataka that both Indian and Chinese troops were present in Doklam, but were not in an ‘eyeball-to-eyeball’ contact. There was a military stand-off between India and China at Dokalam on the tri-junction of the Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese borders, but it had ended after 71 days in August. Rawat was here today to unveil the statues of Field Marshal K M Cariappa and General K S Thimayya at a function held at Cauvery College, in Gonikoppal, Kodagu district. Cariappa was independent India’s first Army chief. Thimayya, who also hails from Kodagu district, like Cariappa, was also the Army chief.