The COAS said that the army was employing both hard and soft power approaches in the valley to deal with the situation in the region
Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, on January 10, said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir needs to be improved further, but cautioned by saying, “talks and terror cannot go together”.
Speaking at the annual Army press conference, he further said that while the internal security situation particularly in J&K needed improvement, the situation along the Pakistan and China borders is being managed adequately. In regards to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army Chief also said that the army was employing a hard and soft power approach in region citing examples of the same.
“We are only facilitators for peace in J&K. Situation in J&K needs to be brought under better control. We are adopting hard power and soft power approach. But the offer to terrorists to come over ground, look at peace is always there as who is getting affected by this? People of Kashmir themselves,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of talks with separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, Gen. Rawat said, “J&K is a bilateral issue between two nations. There is no place for third party intervention. We have to talk on our terms and conditions. Our position is very clear. Come to negotiation table and let’s start talking, but shun the gun, give up violence”
When asked about talks with Taliban, Gen. Rawat clarified that the Indian army is interested in improving its ties with Afghanistan, as it ‘doesn’t want to be out of the bandwagon’ considering that fact that more countries are becoming open to the same idea. However, he asserted that the same analogy cannot be applied to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army chief also spoke about the forces’ plan to provide for soldiers who have been disabled. “We have identified the people and families who are genuinely disabled and created a database. We will now recognise the means that can be provided to support them. I am differentiating between a disabled and a genuinely disabled because disabilities are of many types. This year we are also going to create a database of Next of kin (NoK) who are badly of, “said Gen. Rawat.