We’re prepared: Army chief

P L Uniyal. Dated: 8/14/2019 11:22:05 AM

`Committed to cordial ties with J&K people’

NEW DELHI, Aug 13: Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said that the army was committed to cordial relations with the people of Jammu and Kashmir even as the armed forces are prepared to deal with any threat from Pakistan.
“The assessment is that should anything go wrong, we are prepared,” he said on the sidelines of a seminar at the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, when asked about the security situation along the LoC after India withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two union territories.
He said the deployment of jawans by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) is more of a "precautionary measure", adding that one shouldn't get "too concerned" about it. “If the adversary wants to activate the LoC, that is his choice. Everybody does precautionary deployments; we should not get too concerned about it. As far as the Army and other services are concerned, we have to be always prepared," Rawat told reporters when asked about reports of increased deployment of jawans along the LoC.
General Rawat opined that with the withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir through the abrogation of Article 370, the situation in the Valley would go back to normal and the Army can once again go back to having a cordial relationship with the public.
“We will stay with the public even after the removal of Article 370. One should know how the Army and the common public used to live together in Jammu and Kashmir in the '70s and '80s. We used to meet without guns and if everything stays normal we will once again go back to having that relationship,” Rawat said.
"The relations of the armed forces with the general public of Kashmir used to be very cordial in the 1970s and 80s. We will keep good relations with the general public. It would be great if that kind of camaraderie between the Army and general public begins again. We used to meet the general public without guns at that time," said General Rawat.
The Parliament passed a resolution withdrawing special status to Jammu and Kashmir last week. It also passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act 2019, whereby Jammu and Kashmir would be bifurcated into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without it.
There has been unprecedented security in the Kashmir Valley to avoid trouble over the centre's decision last week to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two Union Territories.
General Rawat said the country had nothing to fear, irrespective of statements like that of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that a Pulwama-like incident might take place again in Kashmir because of the situation in Kashmir. "We are always prepared for any kind of eventuality and we are always on the alert. There is nothing to worry from statements like these," the Army Chief said.
In Pulwama, over 40 security personnel were killed in February when a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammad. The Indian Air Force then bombed a major terrorist hub in Pakistan.
Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic relations with India and suspended bilateral trade over the Kashmir decisions. Imran Khan had told a joint session of the Pakistan Parliament that a Pulwama like incident might happen again as a result of the recent political developments in Kashmir.



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