India Has More Effective Options Than Surgical Strikes, Says Army Chief Rawat
“I will wait and watch to see if Pakistan truly reins him (Salahuddin) in, because he was issuing a calendar of protests on the very day he was designated,” said Rawat
File photo of Army chief General Bipin Rawat. (PTI)
New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that India has far more impactful and effective options than surgical strikes to deal with Pakistan. Rawat also said he was wary of USA’s move to designate Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.
“I will wait and watch to see if Pakistan truly reins him (Salahuddin) in, because he was issuing a calendar of protests on the very day he was designated,” said Rawat, in an interview to Hindustan Times.
Talking about the recent beheading and mutilation of two Indian soldiers, Rawat said, “Pakistan thinks it is fighting an easy war that’s paying them dividends, but we have options (other than surgical strikes) that are far more impactful and effective. Our Army is not barbaric. I don’t want to (collect) heads because we are a disciplined force.”
On the Kashmir issue, Rawat claimed that talks could only happen if there was peace in the Valley, a job that the Army has to do. He also said that he would personally hold talks with the person who could assure him that his convoy would not be hit.
The Army chief also said that they were trying to reach out to youth leaders in Kashmir, in the hopes of deterring them from violence. He claimed that he didn’t want “innocents to be caught in the crossfire”, and that the Army did not want any collateral damage.
Rawat also touched on the human shield controversy and defended the actions of Major Leetul Gogoi. “The election commission staff called for help. What if they had been lynched?” he asked. “I am not on the ground. I don’t know what my boys are going through, but I have to be the motivator,” he said, while citing the lynching of deputy superintendent of police MA Pandith outside the Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar.
He also dismissed rumours that there were incursions by the Chinese army in Sikkim. “I don’t know where the visuals are from, but they are not from Sikkim,” said Rawat.
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