Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday asserted that the country’s armed forces were fully prepared for any eventuality, including possible action in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), if the government cleared it.
“We are always in a complete state of preparedness,” the army chief said when asked if the army was ready to act in the PoK.
He was talking to select newspersons at the CRPF Group Centre in Trishundi, Amethi where the army will hold a recruitment rally in November.
His comments came a day after union minister Jitendra Singh said that the next agenda was to ‘retrieve’ territories under PoK and integrate them with India.
“Look, it’s for the government to clear the action. Whatever the government decides, all the agencies would act accordingly,” the army chief said.
His statement comes less than a month after the defence minister Rajnath Singh stated that any future dialogue with Pakistan would not be on Jammu and Kashmir but on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, the area of Kashmir under Pakistani control since 1947.
On the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir, including the nullification of Article 370, the army chief said, “It is important that the people in J&K understand that whatever actions have been taken are for their welfare only. All the actions are to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with India.”
He also welcomed Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement mentioning J&K as the “Indian state”.
“We are as happy as you all are (over the statement),” General Rawat said adding that over the years Kashmir had suffered vastly due to terrorism.
In a separate event in Gwalior, union minister General V K Singh (retd), is reported to have said that the Central government had a “special strategy” for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which will be acted upon. He, however, added that “such things are not discussed in public,” according to news agency PTI.
Sep 12, 2019 23:07 IST