“It’s clearly externally backed terrorism in Kashmir”: Gen Rawat

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JAMMU: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday  that what was happening in Kashmir was very clearly externally-backed terrorism and not insurgency as youth were being radicalized and compelled to join militancy and asserted that ceasefire violations by Pakistan army on the Line of Control (LoC) were clearly aimed at facilitating infiltration of the militants into the State.
In an interview to Times Now, Gen Rawat said the stone pelters, who reach the site of encounters knowing that security forces are dealing with the militants, they can’t be nationalists. “It is very clear terrorism and not insurgency. The terrorism is externally abetted. The youth are being radicalized and even compelled to join the militancy,” he said.
Without any political reference, the Army chief told the interviewer that some forces virtually encourage stone pelting by not asking the youth to refrain from such activities. This way, he said, the stone pelters feel they have legitimate right (to target security forces).
On whether there was alienation among the youth in the Kashmir valley, the Army chief said alienation can be anywhere. “It can be in Mumbai…it can be in New Delhi or any other State, but it doesn’t mean that you take gun and law and order in your hands,” he added.
The Army chief highlighted contradictions in what was being asked for and what was being done in Kashmir.
“On the one hand, there were complaints pertaining to lack of development. Government is spending funds on development but you are burning the bridges, Government schools and Panchayat Ghars etc. Similarly, one side they claim lack of job opportunities and other side they ask police personnel to quit their jobs. These are quite contradictions,” Gen Rawat said.
Replying to a question on ceasefire violations by Pakistan army on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, he said Pakistan was supporting infiltration attempts by the militants under the cover of firing. “They (the Pakistan army) engage our posts to give militants an opportunity to sneak-in. This (the ceasefire violations) have become a means of diverting our attention,” he said.