The Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat has given a clear message to the youth of Kashmir that they will never get the so-called ‘azadi’ they are seeking.
“I want to tell Kashmiri youth that Azadi 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 Azadi, those who want to secede. (Azadi) is not going to happen, never,” Rawat said in an interview to the Indian Express.
On the increasing number of people picking up arms and joining militancy, Rawat said that the people will have to understand that they can’t fight the Army.
“These numbers don’t matter to me because I know this cycle will continue. There are fresh recruitments happening. I only want to stress that all this is futile, nothing is going to be achieved by them. You can’t fight the Army,” he said.
Acknowledging the anger of Kashmiri youth, the Army chief said that the security forces were trying to avoid civilian casualties despite provocation.
“I know that the youth are angry. But attacking security forces, throwing stones at us isn’t the way. If you want to fight us, then we will fight you with all our force. We don’t enjoy it. Our troops have been trying their level best to avoid any civilian casualty despite huge provocation,” he said.
Rawat said that the people of the Valley should understand that Indian security forces were not as brutal as the forces of Pakistan and Syria.
“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,” he added.