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Army Chief General Rawat: Army is the facilitator of peace in the valley

The discussion on J&K will happen as per our terms and conditions, the army chief said

Addressing the annual press briefing in New Delhi, Arm Chief General Bipin Rawat spoke on a legion of issues concerning the Army. General Rawat said that the Army worked as a facilitator of peace and is committed to bringing normalcy in the Kashmir valley while pinning the blame of increasing violence in Jammu and Kashmir to a section of its own population.

In addition, General Rawat also expressed the need to have better control of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that though they have adopted the hard and soft power approach to deal with the situation, the offer to terrorists to come over and surrender is always there. Answering a question regarding talks with Hurriyat, General Rawat asserted that the talks can happen only if they shun violence and stop seeking support from Pakistan. He further emphasised that J&K is a bilateral issue and there is no scope for 3rd party intervention. “The discussion will happen as per our terms and conditions,” he said.

Refuting the allegations that the Indian Army targets civilians across the border, General Rawat said, “Indian Army is a professional unit and it doesn’t target civilians intentionally. When there are terrorists operating on the other side who attempt to cross LoC, it becomes difficult to identify between a terrorist and a civilian. There are about 300 terrorists lurking around on the other side of the border, waiting to infiltrate.”

General Rawat also outlined the Army’s approach vis-a-vis Afghanistan and defended his proposition of having talks with the Taliban. He contended when a majority of countries involved in Afghanistan peace talks consider Taliban as a stakeholder, we should also join the bandwagon.

General Rawat also described the procurement of advanced missiles and rockets from the DRDO. He revealed that the tests carried out by DRDO were fairly successful, though certain objectives are yet to be fulfilled, once DRDO achieves them, missiles and rockets will be inducted in the Army. “There are definite timelines given to DRDO, if they fail to deliver them within those timelines, we will go in for import mechanism,” he added.

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