The Hindu – We reserve right to retaliate on Pakistan actions: Army chief

Dinakar Peri

New Delhi, 14 January 2017. Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday said India awaited Pakistan’s response on maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir but cautioned that in case “they act wrongly, we reserve the right to retaliate.”

Blaming Pakistan for disturbing the secular fabric of the country through continued proxy war, General Rawat said the Army was willing to go the extra mile to ensure safety of people and their properties. “We should see that Jammu & Kashmir reverses to pre-1989 with everyone there living in harmony,” he observed at his first media interaction.

To ensure peace and tranquillity on the border, General Rawat said, “We are making this offer of peace to the adversary.”

If Pakistan reciprocates in the same manner and accepts it, then the “necessity to conduct surgical strikes should not arise,” he said.

“But if the offer of peace and tranquillity is not reciprocated in an appropriate manner… then this method of execution of operations (surgical strikes) will continue,” General Rawat cautioned.

Terming social media a “two-sided weapon” which sometimes had a “detrimental effect,” General Rawat observed, “We prefer that they (personnel) communicate directly rather than through the social media.”

He strongly defended the sahayak system in the army saying that it was an important and was a personal system between the officer and jawan.

On comments by Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Praveen Bakshi that there was a conspiracy to prevent him from becoming Army chief, General Rawat said if he [Lt. General Bakshi] puts forward his concerns they would be looked into.

“We have reached out to each other…If there is anything that needs to be investigated, if it is brought to my notice, we will look into it,” General Rawat stated. He added: “Lt. General Bakshi has been supportive of me and I will be supportive of him.”

Addressing officers of the Eastern Command in Kolkata on December 31, Lt. General Bakshi had said there “has been a malicious campaign to smear my name” to prevent him from becoming the Army Chief.

“I am not going to resign because I want to get to the bottom of this and who is behind it,” he said. An audio recording of his speech was made public by a private TV channel.

Kashmir situation

Blaming Pakistan for disturbing disputing the secular fabric of the country through continued proxy war, General Rawat said the Army was willing to go the extra mile “beyond their mandate” to ensure safety of people and their properties.

“We should see that Jammu & Kashmir reverses to pre-1989 with everyone there living in harmony,” he observed.

To ensure peace and tranquillity on the border, General Rawat said, “We are making this offer of peace to the adversary.” If Pakistan reciprocates in the same manner and accepts it, then the “necessity to conduct surgical strikes should not arise,” he said.

“But if the offer of peace and tranquillity is not reciprocated in an appropriate manner… then this method of execution of operations (surgical strikes) will continue,” Gen Rawat cautioned.

On the much talked of “cold start” doctrine, he said the Army is mandated to preserve territorial integrity and not all tasks under it can be defensive. As future wars will be short and intense they [the forces] have to act fast. “You can term it whatever way you want,” he stated without calling it a “cold start”.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/We-reserve-right-to-retaliate-on-Pak.-actions-Army-chief/article17037886.ece

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