Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said, "We are only facilitators for peace in Jammu and Kashmir." (IANS file photo)
In a tough message to Pakistan, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that India will talk on its own terms and there is no place for any third-party intervention. "Our terms and conditions are very clear. Come to negotiation table and let's start talking, but shun the gun, give up violence," General Rawat said during his annual press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Addressing the issue of civilians being killed in encounters, General Rawat said that, "Indian Army as a professional army do not target civilians intentionally, but we do know there are terrorists operating from that soil (western neighbour) who attempt to cross the border. So, it is very difficult to identify between a civilian and a terrorist."
"We are only facilitators for peace in J&K," he said. "We have managed the situation well along the northern and western borders," General Rawat said, adding that there should be no cause for concern. General Rawat said that the Army has managed the situation well along the borders with China and Pakistan and there should be no cause for concern. With the US and Russia reaching out to the Taliban in Afghanistan, General Rawat said, "We have interests in Afghanistan, we can't be out of bandwagon." However, the Indian Army chief added that "The same analogy can't apply to Jammu and Kashmir. Talks in the state have to be on our terms."
On new weapons for Army
"By February-March, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) will be giving us the final timeline as to when the ordered missile and rocket can be introduced. If they're failing and timelines are not being met, then we go in for the import mechanism," General Rawat said. The Army chief also announced that on January 20, Indian Army Northern Command will get new Sniper rifles.
No 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for Indian Army
In another important decision, General Rawat suggested that the Supreme Court verdict on the decriminalisation of gay sex may not be implemented in the Indian Army. General Rawat, during his annual press conference, said such actions are forbidden in the Army. At the same time, he added that the Army is not above the law. "We will not allow this to happen in the Army," he said.
(With PTI inputs)