In yet another aggressive statement, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that if required, Indian armed forces are ready to cross the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. Saying that Pakistan has reactivated the terror camp at Balakot after it was destroyed by Indian Air Force jets, he said that such operations will be repeated if such need arises. General Rawat said that the Line of Control (LoC) will remain sacrosanct as long as the other side remains quiet and does not vitiate the atmosphere.
Talking to Times of India in an interview, General Rawat said that despite giving evidence, Pakistan keeps denying supporting terrorists. “Pakistan controls the terrorists, who act as its proxies. It’s no longer going to be hide and seek,” he said. But after the abrogation of Article 370, they are openly calling for Jihad in Kashmir. “It’s a tacit acceptance of their support to terrorism in J&K”, he said. The army chief said that “There are terror training camps in Pakistan, though they keep on shifting them. Fighting a proxy war with us is the state policy of Pakistan.”
Talking about the threat of nuclear weapon that Pakistan keeps threatening about, General Rawat said that Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence, they are not weapons for fighting wars. “I find it difficult to comprehend when someone proclaims he will use them for conventional war fighting or if he is attacked. Will the world community ever allow you to use nuclear weapons like this? Pakistan’s statements show an inappropriate understanding of the employment of strategic weapons”, the India Army chief said.
General Rawat said that since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5th, the infiltration attempts have gone up. He said that there is currently a leadership void among the terror outfits, and Pakistan is desperate to send some people across the border to instigate youths to spread violence in the valley again.
Talking about the possible explosion of the situation after the current security clampdown and communication blockages are lifted, General Bipin Rawat said that a large number of people in the state have welcomed the decision to fully integrate the state. He said that the state extends beyond the valley, and only a small part of the state is affected due to the clampdown. “People say situation has become bad. Do they mean the situation in the past 30 years was good? I think the past 30 years were bad and the past two months have been good”, he said.
On the reports of thousands of youths being detained in Kashmir, General Rawat said that only those people are being detained who violated section 144 that is in place in the state. He said that these people were trying to vitiate the atmosphere and disrupt the government’s efforts, like the procurement of apples through Nafed. Therefore, such people are being detained to ensure that people don’t suffer economically.
He said that actually the clampdown is being imposed by the other side, not by the security forces.
Last week the army chief had informed that Army has war-gamed any possible action in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and accordingly plans have been made. He had also said that focus should shift from J&K to PoK.