Political engagement on way to solve Kashmir: GOC Army
General-officer-Commanding (GoC) of the Indian Armys Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt at B B Cantt sonwar Srinagar. Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi 07/12/2018
Srinagar, Dec 10: A top army commander has said that the solution of Kashmir issue lies in political engagements as witnessed during the Vajpayee years and that the military can only create conditions of normalcy.
“The military can only create conditions of normalcy. Beyond that, the initiatives have to be at levels of good governance, politically talking to people. During the Vajpayee era, it has happened, and similar initiatives the government will take at the right moment. I am sure they will,” General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lt Gen Bhatt said in an interview to The Sunday Express.
He said one of the main things was to find the methods and means to convince the youth that the path of violence will not deliver anything.
“And second, more importantly, is to work in the psychological space with the populace of Kashmir, to tell them that their future is far better in India than in Pakistan… that they are only being used as tools by the Jamaat, by the separatists and Pakistan,” he said.
Bhatt said the Army’s role was to ensure that peace was maintained. “Of course long-term solutions, the government has to look at them.”
The army commander called the social media as his “biggest concern”, saying this “is a privilege we have in a democratic nation.”
“Why I am calling it a privilege in a democratic nation… you see how China handles it, how other countries handle it and have tight control over social media. Here, social media is entirely free. And the freedom has resulted in this being used very actively by our adversaries,” he said.
Bhatt said the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group was a concern and was among those recruiting locally. “They have also displayed accurate firing skills, what you call snipers,” he said, according to the report.