India can call Pak's nuclear bluff: Army chief

India can call Pak's nuclear bluff: Army chief

Indian Army can call  Pakistan's nuclear bluff, said Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday, while affirming that pounding of the neighbouring Army posts harbouring terrorists would continue.

"Unless the pain is felt by the Pakistan Army, it would send terrorists, who are disposable commodities for them. We will continue to destroy the Pak posts housing the terrorists. Already, Pakistan has suffered 3-4 times higher casualties due to the retaliatory action following the ceasefire violation," he said in his annual media briefing ahead of Army Day.

Since November 2003, India and Pakistan have been maintaining a ceasefire along the 740-km Line of Control between the two nations.

However, ceasefire violations by both sides has become a norm in recent years with 2017 witnessing an unprecedented 830-plus violations along the LoC as against 228 in 2016.

The Army chief said India was repeatedly receiving requests from Pakistan to honour the 2003 ceasefire agreement because the damage was heavier on the other side.

Not let up

"If there is a drop in infiltration at the LoC, we will revert to ceasefire, but till then firing will continue. They (Pakistan) are feeling the pain," he said.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the focus of the military action would shift to areas in north Kashmir such as Baramulla, Pattan, Sopore, Kupwara, Handwara, Lolab and areas north of Bandipora. These are areas that Pakistan-based terrorists use to infiltrate before they move to south Kashmir.

Since the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July 2016, Indian Army's counter-terrorism activities were focussed primarily in the four urban districts of south Kashmir. However, there is no let up on the number of terrorists and infiltrators.

More than 200 terrorists were killed but nearly 120 youth were radicalised till December. The Army also captured 39 terrorists, but terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is far from over as the tap of radicalisation is still open and functional.

Education corrupted

Gen Rawat suggested a revamp of the education system in Jammu and Kashmir to stop youth from drifting towards jihad.

"Education in government schools has been corrupted. In schools, there are two maps, one of India and the other of J&K. The message going to a child's mind is that he/she has a separate identity as J&K resident. Also some control has to be exercised on Madrasas and Masjid," he said.

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