IAF chief Arup Raha rejects China's comments on Agni V

On the Chinese stand, the IAF chief said "I think in international diplomacy, normal diplomacy or military diplomacy, these posturing and signaling will always be there. "So we should just go about with our task, meet our own requirements, security challenges."

IAF chief Arup Raha rejects China

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said on Wednesday  that India would carry on with its task of building deterrence capability as was done by way of the testfiring of long-range nuclear capable missile Agni-V. He was addressing a press conference in New Delhi days before he demotes office on December 31.

Without naming China which has been throwing tantrums like a bully whose bluff has been called, the IAF chief said one should not talk about someone else doing something unless it is prohibited like nuclear proliferation. He added that it is "common knowledge" as to what is happening in this region "in terms of collusion, transfer of technology which is forbidden".


Underlining that India is only building up its deterrence capability, Raha, who is also the Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee, said the country must keep modernizing and upgrading its capability " to strike deep into adversary's heartland."

The Agni V missile, with an over 5000 km range, covers the entire China. The latter believes the missile has a range of 8,000 km and counters its strategic superiority over India. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted in its usual churlish way and commented that the missile complied with UN Security Council rules and safeguarded South Asia's strategic balance. May it be noted that the 1998 SC resolution is a non-binding one. So the question of India observing the resolution does not arise.

On the Chinese stand, the IAF chief said "I think in international diplomacy, normal diplomacy or military diplomacy, these posturing and signaling will always be there. "So we should just go about with our task, meet our own requirements, security challenges."

Not mincing words, Raha said he may not like to comment on what somebody else is doing unless it is prohibited.
"Like nuclear proliferation, which is common knowledge to everyone, what is happening in this region, in terms of collusion, transfer of technology which is forbidden. This is all common knowledge. I am not saying something new," he said, without naming any country.

The IAF chief stated that India is legitimately developing its capability indigenously and he does not think anyone should complain about it. He added India is "obviously building up" capability not to actually fight a conflict as it believes in peace and tranquillity.

"But we also know we have been drawn into conflicts several times in the past. So going by historical experience, we have to build our capability. Capability to deter. How do we deter an adversary who is strong? We have to build up capability in order to strike deep into adversary's heartland, take on targets effectively which will hurt the adversary," he said.