Sending a tough message to Kashmiri youth, Army Chief Bipin Rawat has categorically rejected the "Azadi" call saying it won't happen. Rawat has also expressed concerns over Kashmiri youth choosing the path of militancy by picking up the gun.
Sending a tough message to Kashmiri youth, Army Chief Bipin Rawat has categorically rejected the “Azadi” call saying it won’t happen. Rawat has also expressed concerns over Kashmiri youth choosing the path of militancy by picking up the gun. The Army chief has also underlined that he is ready to suspend military operations in the valley. However, he asked, “who will guarantee that there won’t be fire at our men, at our vehicles?”
General Rawat’s comments came even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had said that the Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir starting from Ramzan in mid-May till the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August. An all-party meeting was also held yesterday after a tourist from Chennai was killed due to stone pelting on May 7.
“I want to tell Kashmiri youth that Azadi isn’t possible. It won’t happen. Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek Azadi, those who want to secede. (Azadi) is not going to happen, never,”. Rawat was quoted as saying by IE. Rawat has also a specific message for people in Kashmir. Kashmiris have to understand that the security forces haven’t been so brutal — look at Syria and Pakistan. They use tanks and air power in similar situations. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation,’’ the Army Chief was quoted as saying by IE.
On the issue of suspending the anti-terrorism operations, Rawat said, “But who will guarantee that there won’t be fire at our men, at our vehicles? Who will guarantee that policemen, political workers, our men returning home on leave aren’t attacked, aren’t killed?’’ he asked.
He also vowed to fight back the stone-pelters and attackers. “Once a stone is thrown at us…once they fire at us.. then there is no way we will not respond and respond sternly. Those who want to fight us, we will fight them”. Warning people over participating in stone-pelting, Rawat said, “they are inciting security forces to become more aggressive.’’
General Rawat has stressed that military is not a solution to this issue. “There isn’t a military solution to this issue. This is why we want politicians, political representatives to go into villages especially in South Kashmir to talk to people. But they are scared that they will be attacked,’’ he said. “It will happen once there is calm. And we are hopeful that people will soon realize that all this is futile and start thinking differently,” General Rawat told IE.