Army wants 70s, 80s like bonhomie with Kashmir people

Ready to meet any challenge: Rawat

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 13: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said today that the Army wants same bonhomie with people of Kashmir, which existed in 1970s and 1980s when they used to meet the local population without guns even as he declared that the Indian troops are ready to meet any kind of security challenge in the region.
“In 1970s and 1980, we were deployed there (in Kashmir) and we used to meet without guns. If everything goes well, we will again meet without guns,” Gen Rawat said in brief chat with media persons on the sidelines of an event in the Union capital.
Gen Rawat said Pakistan deploying additional military resources along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir over the last few days is normal and not a matter of concern, asserting that Indian troops are prepared to deal with any security challenge in the region.
There have been reports that Pakistan has stationed some fighter jets at Skardu along the Line of Control (LoC) opposite Ladakh region, which was recently granted the status of Union Territory by the Central Government and separated from Jammu and Kashmir.
“Every country takes precautionary measures and there is no reason to worry about the deployment of additional forces by Pakistan along LoC,” the Chief of Army Staff said.
He added: “That’s normal. Everybody does precautionary deployment and movement of precautionary resources. We should not get too concerned about it.”
He was asked about Pakistan ramping up the number of troops along the LoC days after India removed special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the State into two Union Territories.
The Army chief said Indian forces are prepared to deal with any security challenges along the Line of Control.
“As far as the Army is concerned, Services are concerned, we are always prepared should anything go wrong,” he declared.
On whether the hostilities along the LoC are going to go up in the days to come, Gen Rawat said the choice is with Pakistan.
“If the adversary wants to activate the Line of Control, the choice is his,” the army chief said. The Pakistan army is moving big guns to the LoC, reports had said.
The Army has been put on high alert along the LoC to effectively repulse any possible Pakistani misadventure in the wake of India’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, which have been resented by Pakistan establishment by downgrading diplomatic ties with India and suspension of trains and bus services including Samjhauta Express and Delhi-Lahore bus services which plied between the two countries.
Top Army Commanders in Jammu and Kashmir are closely monitoring the overall security situation in the region to thwart any civil disturbances following the Centre’s decisions.
Sources said Pakistan may try to trigger unrest in the Kashmir valley and push militants into Jammu and Kashmir from the Line of Control as well as International Border but maintained that Army and BSF and all other security agencies have been maintaining very high alert on the borders and will effectively thwart any kind of intrusion attempts.