Ceasefire is holding along the Line of Control (LoC) so far but the internal peace process is being disrupted by “infiltration of weapons and drugs using drones”, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said today.
General Rawat told news agency ANI that ceasefire doesn’t mean that there is “ceasefire along borders, but you at the same time create trouble in the hinterland”.
“Ceasefire so far along LoC is holding, which is a positive sign. At the same time, we’re also witnessing infiltration of weapons and ammunition, using drones. It doesn’t augur well for peace as these drugs and weapons are meant to disrupt the internal peace process,” he said.
“If the internal peace process is disrupted, then we can’t really say that the ceasefire is holding. The ceasefire doesn’t mean that you ceasefire along borders, but you at the same time create trouble in the hinterland. We would like a semblance of peace in the entire Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
India and Pakistan had in February this year agreed to a strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors.
Speaking on theaterisation of forces, General Rawat said that the process is going on well, and it is making satisfactory progress.
“Amongst the three services, we have been able to resolve most of the issues. There is a better understanding that if the three services integrate, they can bring about jointness and carry out transformation. Then I think, we will ensure better efficiency and utilisation of our existing services. I think we’ll be better prepared for combat in the future,” he said.
On how the final structure will evolve, General Rawat said it will only be decided after the initial organisation is created.
“Of course, we have to look at the land-based theatres which will be Eastern and Western Theatres…How the final structure will evolve will only happen after we have created the initial organisation and it will take some time…There is a requirement for one agency to control and ensure that air management doesn’t lead to fratricide. Then we have a large border along the coastline and high sea in the Indian Ocean Region. We need to ensure that we have one organisation looking after that,” he said.
On the internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the people of the Union Territory want peace.
“They have seen a lot of terrorism and insurgency over the years. People are now looking at peace returning, especially after the abrogation of Article 370. If this continues, the time will come when people themselves will shun violence and will not allow insurgency in the Valley because insurgency and terrorism can’t survive without the support of locals,” General Rawat said.
He said there is need to identify the youth in the Valley who have been misled and guide them away from terrorism.
“Some of the youth who have been misled, I think we need to identify them and see how best we can converse with them and explain to them that terrorism is not the way forward, but peace and tranquillity is the way forward,” General Rawat added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)