Army chief warns Pak of more sur­gi­cal strikes

Gen Bipin Rawat says In­dia will go along if Pak chooses peace

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Rahul Singh

NEW DELHI: In­dia would carry out more pre­ci­sion strikes on mil­i­tant bases across the Line of Con­trol (LoC) if Islamabad re­jected New Delhi’s peace over­tures, army chief Gen­eral Bipin Rawat said on Fri­day.

Speak­ing to re­porters in Delhi, Rawat said In­dia had made an of­fer of “peace and tran­quil­ity” to Pak­istan but if Islamabad did not re­cip­ro­cate,“this­methodof ex­e­cu­tion of op­er­a­tions will con­tinue”.

“As far as sur­gi­cal strikes are con­cerned, the aim was to en­sure peace and tran­quil­ity. We are try­ing to en­sure there is no re­quire­ment to con­duct such strikes. If you (Pak­istan) ac­cept peace, we will go along,” Rawat said at a cus­tom­ary press con­fer­ence ahead of Army Day on Jan­uary 15.

Rawat stressed as far as the Pak­istani re­sponse was con­cerned, In­dia would have to adopt a “wait and watch” pol­icy.

“We have told the ad­ver­sary to ac­cept peace and in case that of­fer is not re­cip­ro­cated, then this method of ex­e­cu­tion of op­er­a­tions (sur­gi­cal strikes) shall con­tinue,” he said.

The army’s spe­cial forces con­ducted “sur­gi­cal strikes” against mil­i­tant pads in Pak­istanoc­cu­pied Kash­mir across the Line of Con­trol last Septem­ber, the first di­rect mil­i­tary re­sponse to the Uri at­tack that left 19 sol­diers dead that month.

The strikes saw bi­lat­eral re­la­tions nose­dive and re­sump- tion in bor­der hos­til­i­ties with daily fir­ings and ca­su­al­ties on both sides. Pak­istan de­nied the “sur­gi­cal strikes” as In­dia moved to iso­late Islamabad diplo­mat­i­cally.

VIPIN KU­MAR/HT

Army chief Gen­eral Bipin Rawat ad­dresses a press con­fer­ence in Manek­shaw Cen­tre, New Delhi, on Fri­day.

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