Kashmir No Longer Issue With Int’l Community: Army Chief

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SRINAGAR — Kashmir is no longer an issue with the international community, Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday said even as he warned Pakistan against a repeat of its “Kargil-like misadventure.”

He also appealed to Kashmiri youth to shun guns and look after their families for a better and peaceful future.

 “Indian Army stands resolute and ready to defend the country’s territorial integrity. Any misadventure by Pakistan will be repelled with a punitive response. No act of militancy will go unpunished. Those who have picked up guns are not innocents,” said General Rawat, speaking at an event, ‘20 Years after Kargil Conflict,’ in Kargil.

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He said that army was trying hard to motivate families of these “misguided” youth to compel them to shun guns and come back to the mainstream.

“We are trying to approach civil society, preachers, parents, and siblings of militants to make them understand,” the army chief said.

He said that no parent wants his children to do PhD only to become a militant

“The parents prepare them to be graduates and PhDs in the hope that in their old age they can help them but that is not happening,” he said.

Rawat said that the army is also reaching out to the people through social media campaigns. “…started super 30 for NEET and other competitive examinations aspirants to engage the local youth,” he said.

He said strikes post-Uri and Pulwama “have amply demonstrated our political and military resolve against terror. Acts of terror will not go unpunished.”

He said Kashmir was no longer an issue with the international community. “Pakistan has been singled out by the global community. Pakistan would try its best to send infiltrators into this side to keep Kashmir on the boil,” he said.

Asked about “retrieving” Pakistan-controlled Kashmir from Pakistan, the Army officer said, “We have to wait for the government’s decision as to how that part can be retrieved. In 1947, when Pakistani intruders tried to invade Kashmir, they were pushed back and some part of Kashmir remained with them.”

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that there were locals involved in the Pulwama attack, General Rawat said, “We are aware of the truth. So we don’t have to get carried away by any statement. Our intelligence agencies had given ample proof of what had happened in Pulwama and that is all I would like to say.”

The clear intent and change in norms adopted by the political establishment and the Indian Army had sent a loud and clear message to Pakistan, he said.

He proposed an Integrated Battle Group (IBG) concept to the government and warned of the growing use of cyber space to foment trouble. “Integration of a special operations division along with space division and cyber agency are going to be in IBGs to take on future challenges,” he added.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command and Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi, General Officer Commanding, ‘Fire & Fury’ Corps, also paid their respects to the fallen soldiers on the 20th anniversary of the war.

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President Kovind, who could not attend the commemoration function in Kargil due to inclement weather, paid homage to the Kargil war heroes at the War Memorial in Srinagar’s Badami Bagh Cantonment. Governor Satya Pal Malik also attended the event.

“I, on behalf of a grateful nation, pay homage to the martyrs of the Kargil War. We remember the gallant acts of our brave soldiers, rejoice in their victory and renew our pledge to rededicate ourselves in the service of our great nation,” the President said.


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