New Delhi: Plans are on the anvil to bring in a shift in the counter-insurgency strategy in Kashmir in which “false propaganda inspiring youth to take up arms” will be targeted rather than individuals alone, says new Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.
He is also concerned at the rising number of Kashmiri youth joining militancy.
Gen Rawat, who has experience in handling the Kashmir militancy, said that unlike naxalism in which locals are joining due to feeling of deprivation, it is not the case in Kashmir which has been “under the siege from Pakistan-backed insurgency since late 1980s.”
In an interview to PTI, he emphasised that the “false propaganda” and developments in the Middle East has affected some of the local youth and that is why one finds “more and more educated youth” getting driven towards militancy.
“When the local youth join insurgency and pick up gun it is a matter of concern because our own countrymen getting involved in insurgency is not a happy situation,” Gen Rawat said.
Rather than seeing them as targets, we need to sympathise with them and undo the kind of false propaganda that is being spread among the youth,” he said.
Reviews security situation in Jammu areas
On his maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking charge, new army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday reviewed the security situation and favoured “a dynamic strategy to handle the proxy war”.
General Rawat, who visited some forwards areas in Akhnoor and Rajouri sectors and interacted with troops, commended the soldiers for “strongly reciprocating to the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan.”
The army chief began his three-day tour by visiting the Udhampur-based Northern Command where he was briefed by Lt Gen Devraj Anbu.
“The army chief chief reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and also operational preparedness of Northern Command at a high-level meeting,” officials said.
General Rawat lauded the role of the Northern Command in restoring peace and normalcy during the recent unrest, they said.
“We need to evolve a dynamic strategy to handle the proxy war and defeat enemy’s nefarious designs in Jammu and Kashmir,” the army chief said.
General Rawat flew to 16 Corps headquarters based in Nagrota and visited some forwards areas in Akhnoor and Rajouri sectors where he interacted with troops.
Praising the soldiers for responding effectively to ceasefire violations, the army chief has said, “Every soldier of our army plays an important role towards security of the nation because it is the contribution of every soldier that makes the army efficient and strong.”
Northern command looks after the operational command of Jammu and Kashmir and Line of Control (LoC), Actual Ground Position Level (AGPL) with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh.
General Rawat will be visiting Srinagar and Siachen during his tour. He will also be visiting formations at Kupwara and Anantnag, where he will be briefed about the prevailing security situation and will interact with officers and men, the officials said.