Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat on Thursday pitched for strong global action against states sponsoring terrorism, saying there is a need to take the bull by its horns and strike at the root cause. He also spoke of deradicalisation camps operating in India, where young Kashmiris who have “completely been radicalised, can be isolated.
In an address at the Raisina Dialogue, Gen Rawat also said there is a need to take a hardline approach in dealing with terrorism, the way the US went after terror groups after the 9/11 terror attacks. “As long as there are states which sponsor terrorism, we will have to live with the menace. We need to take the bull by its horns and strike at the root cause,” he said in an oblique reference to Pakistan. Commenting on the usage of pellet guns in Kashmir, Rawat said that the non-lethal weapon is ‘sparingly used’ in Kashmir and even then they are aimed at the legs. He said those throwing stones face action. “Stones can cause death. Now we cannot be throwing stones back at them. Pellet guns are non lethal weapons and are fired at the legs,” he said.
Rawat also clarified that most of the eye injuries are caused because those pelting stones bend to the ground to pick up stones and because pellet guns are fired at the legs they get hit them in the eyes.
On containing radicalisation, he said, in Kashmir today, children as young as 10 or 12 years old are being radicalised. “These people can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way. But there are people who have completely been radicalised,” he said. “These people need to be taken out separately into some de-radicalisation camps. We have de-radicalisation camps going on in our country. Let me tell you, Pakistan is doing the same. They have understood. Some of the terrorism they are sponsoring is hitting back at them,” he added. Radicalisation, he said, can be checked if right persons are targeted. Asked whether he supports negotiations with the Taliban, he said peace talks should be initiated with everybody provided they give up the “weapon of terrorism”.
Imran reaffirms ‘unshakeable’ support to Kashmiris
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his country’s “unshakeable” political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri people, according to a statement issued by his office. The meeting reviewed all aspects of the situation in J&K and the participants condemned the lockdown and the alleged human rights violations there. “It was underlined that the RSS-inspired BJP govt’s ‘Hindutva’ mindset...was responsible for creating a perilous situation for regional peace and stability,” it said.