Pakistan, China encouraging immigration into Assam, says Bipin Rawat

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Sunil Lanba said despite the differences with China on the border issue, peace and tranquillity has been maintained.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI: Apparently alluding to Pakistan and China of engaging in a proxy war by encouraging illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to Assam, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said a “western neighbour” supported by a “northern neighbour” have been trying to ensure that this area (Assam) is taken over.

“Planned immigration is taking place because of our western neighbour. They will try and ensure that this area is taken over playing the proxy dimension of warfare. This proxy game is being well-played by our western neighbour and supported by our northern neighbour,” the Army Chief said during a seminar focused on “Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders” in the Northeast region.

On the government’s current “Act East” policy on the Northeast region, Gen. Rawat said: “The government is looking at the Northeast in the correct perspective, and if that happens, time will not be far that we will be able to amalgamate the region and ensure development. And with development comes the control of the people who are residing in this area.”

Asked on reports of heightened Chinese activity, including infrastructure build-ups near Doklam, the Army chief said the situation in Doklam is “absolutely fine”. The Indian and the Chinese military were engaged in a 73-day long standoff from June 16 last year aft-er the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army.

Addressing the seminar, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said despite the differences with China on the border issue, peace and tranquillity has been maintained along the Indo-China border for several decades.

“However frequent inst-ance of transgression by the PLA (Peoples Liberati-on Army) across the LAC and the recent standoff at Doklam are indication 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,” Adm. Lanba said.