India moves from ‘defensive’ frame to offensive: ex-general


A former deputy chief of Indian Army Ramesh Halgali, a retired lieutenant general, has admitted that the international community got to know for the first time in 2016 that India is ‘capable’ of delivering precise strategic strikes capable of decimating Pakistan.

“This thought of moving from a defensive frame to offensive requires India to gear up,” he said during the idea conclave – The Huddle 2017 – arranged by The Hindu newspaper. “India has moved from its earlier ‘defensive stride’ against Pakistan,” he said.

“Pakistan has ‘continuously’ used its resources to ‘destabilise’ India through ‘proxy’ wars. For over 30 years, Pakistan has been staging a ‘proxy war’ against us. The reason we have thwarted it is because India is a ‘strong capable’ nation,” he said without logic.

In the past, “we were working on a defensive framework, something which changed in 2016 that we are moving from a defensive frame to offensive,” he said. In his National Defence University (NDU) address in Islamabad, then Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had said that Pakistan was opposed to using proxies against other countries and would also not allow any other country to use proxies against Pakistan.

“Our enemies are stoking terrorism to demoralise us and destabilise our country, we are united, fully determined and capable of defeating their nefarious designs,” he said. After that, Interior Affairs Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar, saying that the Pakistan Army were fully capable of responding to any foreign aggression.

On this, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also said that Pakistan would do what it can to expose India’s role in the separation of East Pakistan in 1971, and in destabilising Pakistan through terrorism. He urged the UN and the international community to take note of India’s admission of participating in activities that destabilised Pakistan. The Foreign Office also said that Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence and maintaining good neighbourly relations with India.

During the idea conclave, India’s former national security adviser MK Narayanan said that to talk of terror proofing is a great mistake, as the world has entered a new era of Internet-enabled terror. He said that while security forces in the West were working with this in mind, India had just woken up to the threat of remote controlled attacks. “Welcome to the age of remote controlled attacks,” he told the audience.

“Where the perpetrators may be kilometres of miles away,” he pointed out. India’s former spy chief Hormis Tharakan said that the state has the responsibility to strengthen security in the areas of capacity building, coordination at apex and functional levels, and legislation.