• The Trajectory of Bipin Rawat’s Kashmir Policy

    ICF Team

    June 21, 2018

    Image Courtesy: PTI

     

    Ever since his appointment as the Indian Army Chief, Bipin Rawat has been very vocal in public. He has made statements on various issues but Kashmir seems to be his favorite subject. All we need to do is read Bipin Rawat's statements to trace the trajectory of his Kashmir "policy".

     

    February 15, 2017

    After paying tribute to the security personnel who lost their lives in a counter-insurgency operation: “We would now tell the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go for them. They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. We are giving them an opportunity, should they want to continue to then, we will continue with relentless operations may be with harsher measures and that is the way to continue. Our relentless operations will continue. If they do not relent and create hurdles in our operations then we will take tough actions.”

     

    Image Courtesy: KashmirPost

     

    May 28, 2017

    Defending his troops over the human shield controversy in an interaction with PTI news: “This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war…. That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations…I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us. Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I (want to do)… If people in any country lose fear of the army, then that country is doomed. Adversaries must be afraid of you and at the same time your people must be afraid of you. We are a friendly army, but when we are called to restore law and order, people have to be afraid of us…”

     

    Image Courtesy: PTI

     

    June 8, 2017

    Speaking on the volatile situation of Kashmir: “Pakistan is spreading disinformation among the youth of Kashmir with doctored videos and messages. This is further supported by some of the people in the valley who spread it and glamorize the young boys who have joined terrorist organisations.”

     

    Image Courtesy: AP

     

    June 10, 2017

    At an IMA parade in Dehradun: “A disinformation campaign is being run in Kashmir where the youth is being brainwashed. They then resort to stone pelting.”

     

    January 13, 2018

    Speaking to reporters ahead of the Army Day: “The damage which is being done to us is through the social media. Huge disinformation campaign being spread in Jammu and Kashmir through the social media and schools is radicalising youth.”

     

    Image Courtesy: Reuters

     

    January 17, 2018

    In response to a question asked on Facebook live, by the Observer Research Foundation, one of the organisers of the multi-lateral ‘Raisina Dialogue’: “They have seen it for too long and they have realised (that) it hasn't given them what they had desired for. Let me tell you…with a country like India, to seek independence from a nation where we have strong armed forces, where we have a strong democracy, and a very strong government, you cannot secede from India. This is what the people have realised… Our intelligence operations are carried out in a very coordinated manner. All the agencies are operating together. We are able to identify elements who have been radicalised.”

     

    Image Courtesy: The Atlantic

     

    April 15, 2018

    At the 70th foundation day of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry regiment: “There is hope that the situation in Kashmir will improve…it's not gone wrong. There are some youths in Kashmir who have strayed and have been radicalised. They think they can achieve their goal through guns. But the time is not far when even they will be convinced that neither the forces nor the terrorists will be able to achieve their goals through it. We have to together find a way for peace and we will be successful in that…To revive that Kashmiriyat, we need to get our act together. It is not difficult. We have to get our act together, sit down together, work together and make sure that we all get united and bring about peace.”

     

    Image Courtesy: The Atlantic

     

    May 10, 2018

     In an interview with The Indian Express: “I want to tell Kashmiri youth that Azadi isn’t possible. It won’t happen. Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek Azadi, those who want to secede. (Azadi) is not going to happen, never… [The number of militants who are killed in encounters with the Army] don’t matter to me because I know this cycle will continue. There are fresh recruitments happening. I only want to stress that all this is futile, nothing is going to be achieved by them. You can’t fight the Army…We don’t enjoy it. But if you want to fight us, then we will fight you with all our force.”

     

    Image Courtesy: Reuters

     

    June 12, 2018

    In an interview with The Economic Times: “Talks must happen. The issue is that a lot of locals are joining militancy. We kill them and more would join. Infiltration can be controlled, but this cycle of recruitment of local youth can go on and on. So…let’s give peace a chance and see.”

     

    Image Courtesy: PTI

     

    June 20, 2018

    Speaking on the imposition of Governor's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir: "We only stopped our operations during Ramzan. But we saw what happened. The terrorists continued with their actions. The imposition of Governor's rule will not affect our operations. Our operations will go on like they used to. We don't face any political interference."

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