Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Tuesday that the Army was committed to cordial relations with the people of Jammu and Kashmir even as the armed forces are prepared to deal with any threat from Pakistan.
“The relations of the armed forces with the general public of Kashmir used to be very cordial in the 1970s and 80s. We will keep good relations with the general public. It would be great if that kind of camaraderie between the Army and general public begins again. We used to meet the general public without guns at that time,” said General Rawat, at a seminar at the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
There has been unprecedented security in the Kashmir Valley to avoid trouble over the centre’s decision last week to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two Union Territories.
General Rawat said the country had nothing to fear, irrespective of statements like that of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that a Pulwama-like incident might take place again in Kashmir because of the situation in Kashmir.
“We are always prepared for any kind of eventuality and we are always on the alert. There is nothing to worry from statements like these,” the Army Chief said.
In Pulwama, over 40 security personnel were killed in February when a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammad. The Indian Air Force then bombed a major terrorist hub in Pakistan.
Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic relations with India and suspended bilateral trade over the Kashmir decisions.