Sanjha Morcha

Army Chief: Too early to talk of further truce

Army Chief: Too early to talk of further truce

Army chief General Bipin Rawat

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 11

Emphasising that the onus of peace rests on Pakistan, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Monday said India was “waiting and watching” for quantifiable pointers to indicate if the two ongoing ceasefires in Jammu and Kashmir and on the border with the neighbour have worked.Talking to The Tribune at South Block, Gen Rawat said: “We are waiting and watching if the level of infiltration from across the border decreases manifold over a sustained period; that there are no major incidents of violence in Kashmir valley; and the Amarnath Yatra (starting June 28) goes off peacefully.” These could be the main parameters to judge the success of “peace” initiatives, he added.On May 16, India had announced a Ramzan ceasefire, suspending proactive operations against terrorists in Kashmir during Ramzan (ending June 16), while on May 29, Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations called up his Indian counterpart and offered to abide by the 2003 agreed upon ceasefire along the LoC and International Border in J&K. India accepted the offer.On whether the ongoing “Ramzan ceasefire” could be extended, Gen Rawat said: “It is too early to say if there will be an extension.”“Let’s give peace a chance was the thought while accepting the offer (of the LoC ceasefire) made by Pakistan,” he said. Within the government, there is a stream of thought that the Army’s sustained operations in the Valley are actually making more local boys join the ranks of terrorists. The idea behind suspending the operations was to give these boys a chance, even as a political solution is found.Indications from the Army Chief are that there has to be a sustained effort from Pakistan to ensure peace along the LoC and control terrorists backed by it from crossing over into India.So far, infiltration has not stopped. The Army killed six infiltrators on Sunday morning. Within the Valley, there have been incidents of grenade throwing and a standoff attack on the 13 Rashtriya Rifles camp.WhatsApp ban in J&K? Govt to examineNew Delhi: With security agencies flagging the issue of militants and extremists using WhatsApp calling services to take directions from across the border in insurgency-hit areas, including  Jammu and Kashmir, the government has decided to examine the technical feasibility of blocking the facility. The issue came up for discussion during an inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Raji Gauba. TNS