New Delhi: Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat made it clear that more surgical strikes cannot be ruled out as India has the “right to retaliate” if Pakistan does not react positively to offers of peace.
Gen Rawat also said India needs to “wait and watch” the Pakistani response in Jammu and Kashmir.
He accepted that challenges of proxy war, insurgency and terrorism will keep India embroiled for “years to come”.
The Gen said the DGMOs of both sides have spoken to each other and want peace and tranquillity along the Line of Control (LoC).
The two officers spoke on November 23 and since then there has been relative peace along the LoC, he said.
Asked if surgical strikes conducted along the LoC, and operations conducted in Myanmar, would now be part of the doctrine, the Army chief said, “We have told the adversary to accept peace and in case that offer is not reciprocated this method of operations (surgical strikes) shall continue”.
He also said the aim is to ensure peace and tranquillity and it (surgical strike) shall not be needed if there is peace.
“Our offer to the adversary is if you reciprocate offer of peace in the same manner, the need to conduct a surgical strike will not arise,” he said addressing his first annual press conference here after taking over as the Army chief on December 31.
He also said proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir was started to target India’s secular fabric under which “people” moved out from the state.
Army chief said to ensure the secular credentials of the country are not affected, one must make sure the state reverses to what it was before 1989 with “everybody there” living in harmony.
“We are a secular country and we need to ensure that” it remains so. PTI