Army Vice Chief sets the record straight on India’s security spend

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Lieutenant General C P Mohanty says if India wouldn’t have invested in its armed forces, then the country would have lost the battles in Galwan and Doklam, reports Asian Lite News

Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General C P Mohanty said that if India wouldn’t have invested in its armed forces, then the country would have lost the battles in Galwan and Doklam.

“Had the country not invested in security, we would have lost probably the war in Kargil, Doklam. Even internal security in Jammu and Kashmir would have been in turmoil. Our northeast region would have been in turmoil and Naxals would have had a field day,” Lieutenant General Mohanty said at an event.

Responding to arguments on expenditure on armed forces, he said, “If Tibet had strong armed forces, they would have never been invaded.”

Lieutenant General Mohanty also said the incidents in Doklam and Galwan has not only enhanced the prestige of the nation but has given the country a ”big stature” in the international arena.

He said, “Today everybody talks about India as the net security provider and it is a security umbrella against a big nation.”

Lieutenant General Mohanty added that Indian armed forces are a symbol of national integration as they rise above ethnicity, caste and creed.

He highlighted that Indian armed forces do not have any political aspirations and respect the politics in the country.

“There have been other examples where the military leaders had political aspirations. The Indian Armed Forces have no such aspirations, we respect the politics here,” he stressed.

Addressing an event, he spoke extensively on the key ethos of the Indian armed forces and highlighted their major contributions during the 1965 war, 1971 war and the Kargil conflict.

Citing recent events, Lt Gen Mohanty said, “What has happened in Doklam and Galwan not only enhanced the prestige of the nation, but it has also given us a big stature internationally.”

“Today everyone talks about India as a net security provider,” he said at the event organised by Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS).

“It is not going to be long when we also start being counted amongst the superpowers,” he added.

The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 that even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Indian armed forces put up stiff resistance to China’s construction of a road in Doklam near the trijunction. The dispute was resolved through several rounds of talks.

The Indian Army blunted “vicious” Chinese attacks in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15 last year in eastern Ladakh.

Twenty Indian Army personnel laid down their lives in the clashes with Chinese troops that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.

In February, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the clashes with the Indian Army though it is widely believed that the death toll was higher.

In his address, Lt Gen Mohanty said India has invested in its security forces and they have been playing a key role in the overall development of the country as security is a key aspect of prosperity.

He emphasised that allocation towards the armed forces is part of the nation-building process.

Lt Gen Mohanty also complimented Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for his role in thwarting a Pakistani offensive a day after the Balakot strikes in February 2019.

“He held his head high and become a symbol of today’s youths,” he said.

The Vice Chief of Army Staff also referred to reports of how Pakistan was forced to release Varthaman as the neighbouring country knew that India would surely attack it if he was not released.

“That was how he was returned with dignity,” Lt Gen Mohanty said.

Varthaman was captured on February 27, 2019, by Pakistan following a dogfight between the air forces of the two countries in which his MIG-21 was shot down.

Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan.

Varthaman was released on the night of March 1, 2019, by Pakistan.

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