Sending out a clear message to Kashmiri youth picking up the gun, Army Chief Bipin Rawat has said that there is no possibility of Azaadi, ever, while reiterating that terrorists in Kashmir do not represent any significant challenge to the security forces.
In an interview with The Indian Express, the Army Chief has said that fighting the security forces in Kashmir is futile, and that the youth are being mislead into believing that freedom is coming anytime soon.
“I want to tell Kashmiri youth that Azaadi isn’t possible. It won’t happen. Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek Azaadi, those who want to secede. (Azaadi) is not going to happen, never,” Rawat said.
He also said that he’s aware of the cycle of encounters and recruitments and that it’ll continue till the youth allow terrorist recruiters to mislead them with fantasies.
He stressed that the security forces have been very considerate in dealing with the youth, especially stone pelters who disrupt security operations.
“Kashmiris have to understand that the SFs (security forces) haven’t been so brutal — look at Syria and Pakistan. They use tanks and air power in similar situations. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation,’’ he said.
He also pointed to sinister forces misleading the Kashmiri youth who then start targeting the security forces.
The Army Chief said, “Young people are getting excited by IS flags. Do you know what that means? Do you want to Talibanise Kashmir?
These young people do not understand the meaning of it all. Somebody is inciting these young people.”
He also backed Major Leetul Gogoi who had tied a Kashmiri stone pelter to his jeep to counter the heavy stone pelting his men were facing. The Army Chief said that he’ll continue to back his men and make sure that they don’t feel isolated.
He has urged Kashmiris to recognise the development happening in the state and be thankful for it while stating that resorting to violence does not help anyone.