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India Victim of Pakistan’s Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir: Indian Army Chief



India has been a victim of Pakistan’s hybrid warfare in Kashmir. Speaking at IDSA lecture on ‘Addressing the Challenges of Hybrid Conflict in the 21st Century’ Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said hybrid warfare was nothing new. “It is well sequenced, organized and employs regular and irregular means to target an adversary’s population and infrastructure instead of military capabilities.”

According to Global Security Review, hybrid warfare is the use of conventional military force supported by irregular and cyber warfare tactics. Conflicts between conventional armies are gradually waning, giving rise to a nonlinear matrix of actors and techniques. The Nation has highlighted that South Asia is no exception, the perennial state of conflict between India and Pakistan are changing and blurring the line between the states of war and peace.

Rawat said Pakistan has used irregulars repeatedly since the 1947-48 Jammu and Kashmir operations, and the 1965 war. He also highlighted the Kargil War as an example of hybrid warfare. “The entire world knows the terror-training camps in Pakistan are run by government agencies,” Rawat said that disruptive techniques such as stone-pelting mobs and school bandhs being witnessed in Kashmir were also part of hybrid warfare.

India has never been expansionist and has stressed and promoted peace with all its neighbours. The Army Chief said New Delhi will never use offensive hybrid warfare to create unrest in Pakistan. “Instead India must defend itself by a pro-active ‘offensive-defence’ strategy. This requires an integrated government strategy and outreach, with a greater positive engagement with the youth in Kashmir to meet their psychological, social and economic aspirations.”

Rawat said the Kashmiri youth are being indoctrinated and radicalized to act irrationally. They have to be taken out of the streets, weaned away from the culture of stone-pelting.

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