The Indian Army is facing a “dirty war” in Jammu and Kashmir which has to be fought through “innovative” ways, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat said, strongly defending the use of a Kashmiri as a ‘human shield’ by a young officer.
“This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are
there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations,” Rawat said.
In an interview, he suggested it would have been easier for the armed forces if the protesters were firing weapons instead of throwing stones. “In fact, I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us. Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I want to do,” he said.
Gen Rawat, who had served in Jammu and Kashmir extensively, said if people in any country lose fear of the army, then the country is doomed.”Adversaries must be afraid of you and at the same time your people must be afraid of you. We are a friendly army, but when we are called to restore law and order, people have to be afraid of us,” he claimed.
Gen Rawat said that as the Army chief, it was his duty to lift the morale of the army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and he did it by awarding Major Gogoi.”As Army Chief my concern is morale of the Army. That is my job. I am far away from the battle field. I cannot influence the situation there. I can only tell the boys that I am with you. I always tell my people, things will go wrong, but if things have gone wrong and you did not have malafide intent, I am there,” he said.
He also emphasised on the need for taking harsh measures to stop infiltration and counter-terrorism.
Asked whether there should be a political initiative to reach out to the Kashmiri people, the Army Chief said it was for the government to decide, adding such initiatives were taken in the past as well. “Has political initiative not been taken in the past? What was the result, you had Kargil,” he said.
To a separate question, the Army Chief said he does not anticipate a “limited war” with Pakistan.—INP