The Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat, in a message to Kashmiri youth, has said that Azadi [freedom] is not possible as “we will always fight those who seek Azadi”, a media report has said..
Rawat said the forces haven’t been “so brutal” and asked the Kashmiri youth to look at Syria and Pakistan and see “how they are using tanks and air power in similar situations,” reported Indian Express.
Gen Rawat, according to the report, expressed concern over Kashmiri youth “picking up the gun” and said they were being misled to believe “this path will bring Azadi
“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,” he said.
On the number of militants being killed in the gunfights, he said: “These numbers 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”.
Gen Rawat said that he is perturbed by the killings. “We don’t enjoy it. But if you want to fight us, then we will fight you with all our force. Kashmiris have to understand that the SFs (security forces) haven’t been so brutal — look at Syria and Pakistan. They use tanks and air power in similar situations. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation,’’ he said.
“I don’t understand why people are coming out in huge numbers to disrupt our operations. Who is inciting them? If they want that the militants aren’t killed, they should go and tell them to come out without their weapons so that nobody is killed,’’ he said. “Let anyone of them say — mein le kay aata hun (I will bring him out). We will halt our operation.”
He said that the youth by pelting them with stones are “inciting security forces to become more aggressive.”
General Rawat said that he understands that “there isn’t a military solution to this issue”. “This is why we want politicians, political representatives to go into villages especially in South Kashmir to talk to people. But they are scared that they will be attacked,’’ he said. “It will happen once there is calm. And we are hopeful that people will soon realize that all this is futile and start thinking differently”.
The Army chief said he is “ready to suspend” military operations to avoid civilian casualties. “But who will guarantee that there won’t be fire at our men, at our vehicles? Who will guarantee that policemen, political workers, our men returning home on leave aren’t attacked, aren’t killed?’’ he asked.