Won’t hesitate from taking strong action against Pak: Gen Rawat

Militants forcing youth to pick up gun
‘Heavy losses inflicted on enemy across LoC’

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Jan 15: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said today that India will not hesitate in taking strong action against its neighbour, Pakistan, if it indulged in any “misadventures” on the border and declared that the Indian Army has inflicted heavy losses, both in terms of lives and infrastructure, on Pakistan in retaliatory firing on the Line of Control (LoC).
“If our neighbour doesn’t mend its ways, we will not hesitate from taking strong retaliatory action to thwart the inimical moves of the western neighbour aimed against India,” Gen Rawat said without naming Pakistan in his hard hitting address to the Army jawans on the occasion of Army Day today in which he declared that the Army was committed to crush militancy in the Kashmir valley.

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Maintaining that Pakistan continued to violate ceasefire on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Rawat said the Indian Army has been giving very befitting and strong response to Pakistani troops, thus, inflicting heavy losses of lives and infrastructure across the LoC.
“And if the neighbour didn’t mend its ways on the LoC, we will not hesitate from even taking strong and massive action against it for any kind of inimical action,” he declared in one of the sternest warning to Pakistan in the wake of continued unrest on the LoC especially in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, where an Army Major was among three troopers martyred in Rajouri district only a day before.
Gen Rawat’s statement warning strong action against Pakistan and losses inflicted on the neighbour, both in terms of lives and infrastructure, came at a time when India and Pakistan armies were engaged in exchange of shelling and firing in Rajouri and Poonch districts regularly for the past fortnight. Incidents of sniping have also been on the rise.
“Anti-infiltration measures are on along the LoC and they will continue. Our western neighbour has been aiding and abetting militancy and infiltration (in Jammu and Kashmir) but the Indian Army continued to dominate the LoC,” the Army chief declared.
“We are ensuring moral dominance along the border in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Referring to internal security situation in Kashmir, he said the Army in coordination with other security agencies have inflicted heavy losses on the militants and broke backbone of the militancy
“We are committed to crush militancy in the Valley,” he declared and described peaceful conduct of Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections and successful annual pilgrimage to holy Amarnath Ji cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas last year as result of Army’s dominance in coordination with other security agencies.
“The Indian Army has ensured heavy damage to terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir,” Gen Rawat said.
Pointing towards new modus operandi of militants, the Army chief said the Kashmiri youth were being terrorized to pick up gun by the militants.
“Civilians especially youth are being harassed, terrorized and forced to take up arms,” he said, adding: “We do not want that people in Jammu and Kashmir are disturbed. Our neighbouring country has a hand in these activities. Terrorists are being trained and given arms by our neighbouring country, which is being termed State-sponsored terrorism globally.”
In the Army, he said, a VIP is a jawan, who is fighting on the Line of Control with the enemy.
He also urged Army personnel and their families to be careful in using social media which he said is being used for radicalization.
Gen Rawat said efforts were on to maintain peace and tranquility along the (eastern) border. But we will keep reviewing the situation. Our soldiers will not allow any compromise in guarding the border in the eastern sector,” Gen Rawat said, adding that the orders given by the Government will be strictly followed.
Discussing the situation in the Northeast, Gen Rawat said the situation is peaceful in the region and the Army is carrying out regular anti-insurgency operations.
Gen Rawat also talked about coordination with the Navy and the Air force.
“We will achieve decisive victory along with the Navy and the Air Force in case of a war,” he said.
Gen Rawat said the Army was carrying out major restructuring.
“The security challenge facing the country will become more complex in the coming years. We will have to keep enhancing our combat prowess so that we can defeat our adversaries. I assure that we will keep the trust reposed on us by the people of the country,” the Army chief said.
Referring to modernization of the troops, Gen Rawat said the Army was moving ahead in this direction and referred to purchase and induction of several new weapons in its armoury, which would further strengthen its soldiers.
“Advanced gun system has been introduced in the Army,” he announced.
He also referred to involvement of the Army in rescue operations of civilians at various places across the country saying the troops were contributing immensely in relief and rescue operations, wherever required or asked for by the Government and civil administration.