Will destroy all posts from where Pak launches terrorists: Gen Rawat

NEW DELHI, Jan 12: Indian Army will destroy all those military posts from where the Pakistani Army launches the terrorists into Kashmir, said Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday.
Interacting with mediapersons here ahead of Army Day, Gen Rawat said, “We target all those posts from where they launch terrorist. Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army’s approach is to ensure that Pakistan felt the pain.”
On increased number of ceasefire violations and casualties, he said India was ready to retaliate against any threat and will continue the approach till it sees a decrease in violations.
He also said that social media and Government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a “disinformation campaign” resulting in radicalisation of youth and called for “some control” over mosques and madrasas in the State.
He said a “major revamp” of the education system was needed in the State to deal with the problem.
The armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been strongly retaliating to Pakistan’s ceasefire violations and the aim has been to inflict pain on Pakistan Army to make it realise the cost of its support to terror groups, he said.
He said terrorists in Pakistan are “disposable commodity” and Indian Army has been focusing on punishing Pakistan Army posts which often provide cover fire to push terrorists into India.
“Our approach has been to ensure that Pakistan Army feels the pain,” he told a press conference, adding the Pakistani side has been feeling the pressure of India’s aggressive retaliation.
He said Indian Army has been targeting Pakistan posts which support terrorists to infiltrate into India, adding Pakistan has been calling for de-escalating the situation.
“Unless Pakistan Army feels the pain, it would continue to send terrorists who are disposable commodities for them. We will continue to destroy the Pak posts pushing the terrorists into India. Pakistan has suffered three-four times higher casualties due to the retaliatory fire,” he said.
Gen Rawat said South Kashmir was focus of the Army’s counter-terror operations after killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in 2016. But now, the focus will be shifted to areas in North Kashmir, he said.
He also said that the Army can call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff.
“We will call the bluff. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us and the country gives us a task, we are not going to say that we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” he said.
The Army Chief also said it would be premature to assess the impact of US President Donald Trump’s decision to put pressure on Pakistan to act against terror groups operating from its soil.
He said India will have to continue its policy of dealing sternly with cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, notwithstanding the pressure on Pakistan by the US.
“It would be premature to talk about what is going to be ultimate impact of this pressure on Pakistan. I think we should wait and watch,” he said.
On January 1, President Trump had accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years, seen as a major policy initiative to pile up pressure on Islamabad to contain terror groups operating from Pakistan’s soil.
“I do not think everything is going to be hunky-dory and Pakistan is going to be isolated and it is going to be declared a terrorist state. There are compulsions on the US also to maintain a kind of a relationship with Pakistan and Pakistan understands it,” Gen Rawat said.
At the same time, he observed that Pakistan has felt the pressure for its “religious intolerance”.
“It is a step by step process. It is too premature to say that everything is going to be in our favour and the US will do our job,” the Army chief said. Rawat said the issue of exercising some amount of control over mosques and madrasas to check the flow of disinformation was being looked into.
The Army Chief also said India will not allow its territory to be invaded by anyone, asserting that China may be a powerful country but India is not a weak nation either.
The time had come for India to shift focus to its northern border, he said, and added that the country was capable of handling China’s assertiveness along it.
Amid aggressive Chinese efforts to increase its influence in the region, the Army chief said India cannot allow its neighbours to drift away to China.
“China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation,” Rawat said.
To a question about Chinese incursions into India, he said, “We will not allow our territory to be invaded by anyone.”
Referring to the US’ warnings to Pakistan over its handling of terrorism, Rawat said India will have to wait and see its impact.
Terrorists are a disposable commodity in Pakistan and the Indian Army approach has been to ensure that it feels the pain, he said. (Agencies)