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Focus should shift from Kashmir to POK: As PM Modi alludes to ‘decisive war’ against terror, Gen Bipin Rawat talks about POK and Pakistan

It is important to take the heat off J&K. It would have to be taken to the other side — PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, he said

Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that Army has war-gamed any possible action in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and accordingly made plans. He also said that the focus should shift from J&K to PoK.

Talking to The Economic Times, General Rawat said that Pakistan will avoid a conventional war with India as it does not have capabilities for the same, instead, it will continue to wage a proxy war against India using terrorists. He said that Pakistan is supporting terrorism in Kashmir in the garb of helping the local population, and it has itself acknowledged the same. Pakistan is hungry for ‘attention’ and is adamant about ensuring third-party intervention on the Kashmir issue, he added.

Talking about any possible action in PoK, General Rawat said that the Army’s 15 Corps regularly perform war games and it is always not defensive, sometimes the games also involve crossing the border. Even 14 Corps performs such games. “So, there are plans”, he asserted.

Indian Army’s 15 Corps is based at Srinagar, and it is largely involved with counter-terrorism operations, and mainly focuses on Pakistan border. The 14 Corps is based at Leh, and it looks after both the borders with Pakistan and China.

General Rawat said that now the focus should be taken away from Jammy and Kashmir and concentrated on the other side. “It is important to take the heat off J&K. It would have to be taken to the other side — PoK and Gilgit Baltistan,” he said.

The Army chief has reiterated what several senior union ministers have already said, that now the focus will be on PoK. Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that PoK is part of India and one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it. Last month. While announcing the abrogation of Article 370, home minister Amit Shah had also reiterated that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of India.

General Rawat also informed that Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot terror camp, which was destroyed by Indian Air Force. “Balakot has been re-activated by Pakistan, very recently. This shows Balakot was affected, it was damaged and it highlights some action was taken by the Indian Air Force at Balakot and now they have got the people back there”, he said while talking to media in Chennai today.

Lashing out at the neighbouring nation, Bipin Rawat said, “Pakistan violates ceasefire to push terrorists into our territory. We know how to deal with ceasefire violations. Our troops know how to position themselves and take action. We are alert and will ensure that maximum infiltration bids are foiled.”

He also said that at least 500 terrorists are waiting to infiltrate in India from across the border.

The comments of the Indian Army Chief come just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about a ‘Decisive War’ against terror. While addressing the ‘Howdy Modi’ event at Houston in the USA last night, Modi had said that the time for a ‘Decisive War’ against terror has come. Addressing the same event, US President Donald Trump has also raised the issue of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’, the brand of terrorism that Pakistan specialises in. We are committed to protecting innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, which had drawn a huge applause from the audience.

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