Sunday, Jan 23, 2022 | Last Update : 12:42 PM IST

  India   All India  26 Oct 2017  Interlocutor won’t impact Army operations in J&K: Bipin Rawat

Interlocutor won’t impact Army operations in J&K: Bipin Rawat

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Oct 26, 2017, 3:30 am IST
Updated : Oct 26, 2017, 6:17 am IST

At the same time, Gen. Rawat also sounded out a note of caution on the security of military installations across the country.

 Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (Photo: PTI)
  Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Implying that the tough posture adopted by the Army against militants in the last eight-nine months in insurgency-hit Kashmir is paying off, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that the government is now talking from a “position of strength” on the Kashmir issue.

Pointing out that the Kashmir situation has improved and infiltration is down, General Rawat said: “The appointment (of a new interlocutor, former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma) will not affect Army operations. The government’s strategy on Kashmir has worked. The government is talking from a position of strength.”

 

Gen. Rawat’s statement, on the sidelines of an event organised by the Army Design Bureau, along with industry body Ficci, is the first reaction of the Army after announcement of Mr Sharma’s appointment.

The Army, in a major shift in the counter-insurgency tactics about nine months ago, had decided to operate in a “seek and engage” mode against the militancy which has resulted in the gunning down of about 160 hardcore militants, offering a decisive edge to the counter-insurgency operations. The tactical change was brought in as militants were believed to be hiding among the civilian populace and using them as human shields.

At the same time, Gen. Rawat also sounded out a note of caution on the security of military installations across the country. “Security of military installations in the hinterland is becoming a cause for concern because we keep getting reports about likelihood of some attacks on the lines of Uri and Pathankot in some of our bases,” he said, underscoring the importance of integrating security systems with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with suitable and adequate technology.

 

On January 2, 2016, militants had breached the security perimeter of the vital Pathankot IAF airbase before being neutralised by commandos after a prolonged fight. It was followed by a brazen attack at the Uri army base on September 18, 2016 which claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. While the Indian Army responded with a successful surgical strike across the Line of Control with Pakistan on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, the Pathankot and Uri attacks had exposed chinks in the security of military installations.

Making a strong pitch for a strong indigenous domestic defence industry and underscoring the importance of the private sector joining hands with the government in addressing the country’s military and security needs, the Army chief said: “We must win the next war with home-made solutions”.

 

According to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India remains the world’s biggest arms importer over the past five years, increasing its share of global arms imports from 9.7% in 2007–11 to 12.8% in 2012–16.

The chief reason behind India’s growing military spend is the lack of a domestic arms industry that can cater to the military needs.

Tags: bipin rawat, dineshwar sharma, kashmir issue
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi