Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat lost his life in an accident when a Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying him to Wellington crashed midway in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. He was accompanied by his wife, who too was killed in the tragic accident.
The senior-most armed forces officer, who had overseen strikes in Myanmar and the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, had been known to call out Pakistan and China several times over border disputes and the spread of terror. Here are his top quotes.
* “Territorial ambitions of China and Pakistan require India’s armed forces to remain alert and deployed along disputed borders and also along the coastal regions round the year,” General Rawat said last month while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture at All India Radio.
* “China’s partnership with Pakistan and its stand on Jammu and Kashmir can be best described as an anti-India nexus,” he said during a press conference held in Guwahati, Assam.
* “China has a habit of using money power and economics to gain popularity in the countries. We have to move with the Prime Minister’s SAGAR mission (Security and Growth for all in the Region),” the four-star general said in October.
* “Let them (Pakistan) attempt to do something to damage our assets, and the reaction from our armed forces will be very different. The political will is there. Our armed forces are ready,” General Rawat told India Today TV.
CDS General Bipin Rawat. (File Pic)
* “We have taken adequate precautions to ensure that any such misadventure by Pakistan is thwarted and they are not able to succeed in their mission. But, in fact, they may suffer heavy losses should they attempt any misadventure,” he told media.
* “Pakistan ko control karne ki jaroorat hi nahi hai. Wo dheere dheere khud hi decontrol ho raha hai. Aur shayad hamain koi karwahi karne ki jaroorat hi nahi padegi. It is in self-immolation mode,” the officer had said at the Agenda Aaj Tak in 2019.
* “Nobody ever thought that the Taliban would take over the country so fast. We don’t know what is in the future. There can be more turmoil and changes that can’t be anticipated as of now,” Gen Rawat said while speaking at the India International Centre in Delhi.
* “We were always tasked for defending our borders. And when you have unsettled borders on your north and your west, you don’t know which side the battle will commence and where it will end. So you should be prepared on both fronts.”
* “Friends to sabhi ban jaate hain lekin dushman humko satark rahane ki chetawani bhejate hain (Friends are easily made, but enemies keep us alert),” Gen rawat told India Today in an interview after taking over as Chief of Defence Staff.
* “India sees huge geopolitical competition in the region by China in creating a favourable strategic posture to provide sufficient security to its overseas interests.”