The Indian Army Chief – General Bipin Rawat said that Indian Defence Forces have already conducted comprehensive war games to wrest control of Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PoK – What New Delhi calls it) from Islamabad’s illegal occupation.
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The Indian Army Chief who shared the details during an exclusive interaction with ET said Islamabad will avoid a conventional war with India because it does not have required capabilities for it. He added it will instead continue to enhance its proxy war against India.
Rawat also said that Islamabad has accepted promoting terrorism in J&K and it is doing this under the garb of helping the local population. Pakistan is hungry for ‘attention’ and is determined about securing third-party mediation on the Kashmir issue.
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While speaking about possible action in Pakistan controlled Kashmir, Indian Army Chief said: “The Army’s 15 Corps performs war games and it is not only on defending the land. Some of them would involve going across. Even 14 Corps does such war games. So, there are plans.”
The Srinagar-based 15 Corps, besides being largely involved in counter-terrorist operations, has operational tasks against India’s western neighbour. The 14 Corps, based in Leh, is involved in operations not only on the western front but on the eastern one with China as well.
Rawat also said the focus should now be taken away from Jammu and Kashmir and be placed on the other side. “It is important to take the heat off J&K. It would have to be taken to the other side — PoK and Gilgit Baltistan,” he said.
Earlier this month, Rawat had said the Army was always ready for any action in PoK, should the government pass orders for it.
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Earlier, Indian Defence minister Rajnath Singh said that talks with Pakistan will only happen on PoK. A few days ago, external affairs minister S Jaishankar made it clear that PoK was a part of India and New Delhi will have jurisdiction over it one day.
Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat also had tough words for Pakistan during the 20th-anniversary ceremony of India’s victory in the Kargil War. The Army Chief asserted that India has the claim over the entirety of Jammu and Kashmir. He maintained that reclaiming the region is entirely a political decision and that the Army will follow the orders.