A two-front war with Pakistan and China cannot be ruled out, Indian Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat said, dismissing the "myth that democracies or nuclear armed" neighbours do not go to war, India Today reported on Wednesday.
Addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Rawat also claimed that differences between India and Pakistan could not be reconciled.
The Indian army chief spoke briefly about his country's military strategy in case of future engagement of Indian troops with China, India Today reported.
According to the daily, Rawat reiterated that the recurrence of situations such as the recent standoff between Indian and Chinese troops over the Doklam Plateau could not be ruled out.
He alleged that China was flexing its muscles and would continue to incrementally take away territory from India. India, thus, has to be prepared, he said.
The army chief said that if Indian troops were engaged with China on the northern border of the country, there was a possibility Pakistan would try to "take advantage of the situation".
"War is very much in the realm of reality," the Indian army chief was quoted as saying. "We have to be prepared for conflict on the northern and western borders."
Rawat said that ruling out the possibility of war will prevent the country from preparing for such a situation in regards to budgetary allocation and modernisation of forces.
"Militaries alone do not go to war, nations go to war [and] we have to prepare ourselves accordingly," India Today quoted the army chief as saying.