Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Thursday, January 16, said that he supported the peace deal between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan, adding that it was important for states to stop using terrorism as a "proxy war".  

Speaking at the Raisina dialogue organised by influential think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Gen Rawat argued that terrorism was going to stay in the world as long as states were going to use it against other states.

"The only way to deal with it was what the US did post 9/11," he said, adding that the war against terror was necessary.

General Bipin Rawat
General Bipin Rawat after taking charge as the first Chief of Defence Staff.IANS

However, now a peace deal with the Taliban is required, Gen Rawat said.

"It must be a negotiated peace deal so that the Taliban stops using terrorism," he added. Hinting that the US should maintain its presence in Afghanistan, the CDS said that though Afghan security forces are now equipped to fight back terror groups in Afghanistan but they still need support.

The newly appointed CDS officially confirmed that India has shifted its stance on the Taliban. India has traditionally been opposed to the Pakistan-backed Taliban in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans were given refuge in India when they fled the country due to oppression and terrorism of the Taliban regime. India is in alignment with the democratically elected government in Kabul that the Taliban remains supported by Pakistan.

Other developments during Raisina dialogue 

In a bid to enhance bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries, Defence Secretary of India Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Finland Jukka Juusti on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

India Finland
Defence Secretary of India Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Finland Jukka Juusti.

The MoU on co-operation in the field of Production, Procurement, Research and Development of Defence-related Equipment and Industrial cooperation has been inked on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020. Under the broad ambit of the MoU, cooperation between Finnish companies and Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings could be explored.

(With agency inputs)