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Need For One More Surgical Strike, Says Army Chief Bipin Rawat

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| September 25 , 2018 , 09:16 IST

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is known for being vocal in expressing his views, and on Monday, days before the anniversary of the 2016 surgical strike on September 29, General Rawat said that he believed there was need for another surgical strike.

In conversation with a media channel, General Rawat said that there was need for another surgical strike on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).

"I believe there is a need for one more action (surgical strike). But I would not want to disclose how we want to do it," General Rawat said to India Today news channel.

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"As long as the Pakistan government can't control its Army and the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], the situation at the border won't improve," he said.

The Army chief added that infiltration from across the border persists despite calls for ceasefire by Pakistan and stressed that this cannot be allowed to continue and appropriate action needs to be taken to deter terrorists from disrupting the peace in the Kashmir Valley.

Although peace talks had been proposed by the new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, they were rejected by India after the alleged mutilation of the body of a Border Security Force soldier, and the abduction and murder of 3 Jammu and Kashmir Police officers by militants supported by Pakistan.

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General Rawat on Sunday said, "Talks aren't being held, because our government policy is that talks and terrorism can't take place together. We've given a clear message to Pakistan. Govt's policy is clear that Pakistan has to prove with their actions that they aren't promoting terrorism."

He added, "When Imran Khan came to power in Pakistan, he tried to send some messages of peace. But whether the entire establishment in Pakistan wants this peace is what we have to understand."

"There seems to be some kind of variation in what is being uttered, what is being spoken about, and what we're seeing in action on the ground. I think there is disharmony between the two," said the Army chief.

The surgical strikes were conducted by India on 7 terror launch pads across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the intervening night of September 28-29 in 2016 but were denied by Pakistan, despite video proof from India. The surgical strikes were conducted in retaliation to the Uri attack by militants backed by Pakistan that left 19 dead.