Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 8:01 AM


Indian Army chief’s bolt from the blue

Sunday, July 1, 2018
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Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat's had sometime ago categorically stated that freedom was not possible for Kashmiri youth. "Don’t get carried away unnecessarily. Why are you picking up weapons? We will always fight those who seek azadi, those who want to secede. Freedom is not going to happen, never," he had said.

But recently his statement came out of the blue. In an interview, Rawat, stressing on talks to establish peace in Indian-held Kashmir, said the recruitment of local Kashmiri youth by militants could not be controlled. “Talks must happen. The issue is that a lot of locals are joining militancy. We kill them and more would join. Infiltration can be controlled, but this cycle of recruitment of local youth can go on and on. So…let’s give peace a chance and see,” the Indian general was quoted as saying by the Indian newspaper Economic Times.

The second development was that Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh ended the so-called truce by the Indian forces. The Indian Army's operations were halted on May 16 at the start of Ramazan across Indian-controlled Kashmir. Singh said Indian forces were being directed to take all necessary actions to prevent "militants" from launching attacks. "While the security forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the militants have continued with their attacks, on civilians and SFs (security forces), resulting in deaths and injuries," he claimed. "The security forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent militants from launching attacks and indulging in violence."

The third development this month was that Governor’s rule was imposed in the Valley.

It seems the situation for the Indian Army is becoming downright depressing.

 It is becoming clear that the Indian Army chief does not know what to do as the army’s high command is learning that the Kashmir problem is not going to go away. 

Their skewed view, policies and strategy that involves military means to achieve political ends have failed to deliver. 

The high casualty count in the Valley is no longer acceptable. On the other hand, the Indian establishment and Modi Sarkar are totally confused about the situation. Stopping the pursuit of militants in Ramazan and door-to-door house searches have not helped stem the freedom movement nor it failed to affect the mounting death toll in the volatile region. The bottom-line is that India is not winning in the held Valley. It never will. The only option is that there should be a fair solution to the liking of the majority of the people of the besieged Valley.