NEW DELHI — General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff said that restrictions imposed following the scrapping of Article 370 may return to the Kashmir Valley at the cost of freedom of movement because of militancy related activities, The Hindu reported.
Rawat accused Pakistan of carrying out a proxy war to “create fear-mongering” because “a semblance of peace and tranquility was happening” in Jammu Kashmir.
Whenever there is peace and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir, our western adversary creates a situation where people of some community are killed and fear is generated,” Gen. Rawat said.
Rawat on Saturday evening participated in the first Ravi Kant Singh Memorial lecture series in Guwahati, organized by the Assam Police. The series was titled ‘Assam at Crossroads: Geopolitical events in its neighbourhood impacting North East India’.
Rawat referred to the targeted civilian killing of Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and migrant workers in the Kashmir Valley and said, “We should not allow the exodus to happen from the Valley at all. The adversary will always try to do something to make us fall into a trap.”
Rawat also said that Home Minister Amit Shah visited Kashmir to give confidence to the people that the security forces and the local administration will bring the situation under control.
“The intelligence network is being strengthened and more monitoring of the people is happening there. People don’t like the armed forces to become intrusive, but we will have to get back into this fold again and carry out activities to ensure the terrorists do not carry out any activity,” Gen. Rawat said.
He also said that the armed forces were trying to gradually allow freedom of movement in Kashmir Valley when peace was emerging. Getting back into the restrictive fold “disrupts the freedom of the people living there, but we have to make sure all this is done for your safety and security.”
On the China front, Gen. Rawat said that issues were taking a long time to resolve, but they are getting resolved much faster than in the 1980s.
“You should have faith in the system, especially in the armed forces that they will not let the nation down,” he said.