Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today warned that a large-scale infiltration bid from across the Line of Control could be made in the next few months. The border is being kept “alive” by the Pakistani troops to support infiltration, he said. Addressing the geo-political conference ‘Raisina Dialogue’, he said, “There are terrorist bases very much inside Pakistan and an attempt is being made to revive the insurgency in Kashmir because people do feel that there is some semblance of peace that is returning to the Valley. “Therefore, we visualise, large-scale infiltration taking place in the next few months,” Rawat said. The Army chief also spoke about nuclear weapons and deterrence. He made the remarks about nuclear weapons while responding to a question on the warning by the Pakistan Army against any “misadventure”.
Pakistan’s warning had come after Rawat’s recent remark that his force was ready to call Islamabad’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the government. Rawat said nuclear arms are strategic weapons and to talk about their use in the conventional domain is not right. The use of nuclear weapons is decided at the highest level of establishment, he said. The Army chief said nuclear arms may be weapons of deterrence, but that does not mean that nations will not engage in combat. He also talked about the threat of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, saying it was a challenge to keep these weapons of mass destructions in check. This requires greater coordination among the international community, he said at the Raisina Dialogue, an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the Ministry of External Affairs. Rawat asserted that, “As long as the Pakistani establishment and Pakistani forward posts along the LoC continue to support terrorists in carrying out actions against our forward defence troops, who are constantly required to monitor the LoC, we will have to continue taking action against these people.”
On Monday, seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army after a ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir, where an infiltration bid was also foiled with the elimination of five Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militants. Rawat also said that to deal with the menace of terrorism, the militant and political fronts of the terror organisations, need to be addressed simultaneously. He contended that terror organisations spread their propaganda more effectively using “terovision” — the broadcast of news related to militant attacks. He said it is important to ensure that terrorist leaders are not made heroes. “The (terror) activity will not be carried out if the outfit does not get visibility in the open media because that is how they generate fear. That is how they reach out to people to say that we are here to stay,” he said. He also wondered whether people are willing for temporary curbs on social media as it is used by terror organisations to spread their message.