300 terrorists waiting to infiltrate, talks with separatists can happen only if guns are shunned

#Situation along border with China improved after Wuhan summit


NEW DELHI, Jan 10: Ahead of the Indian Army Day, chief of the Indian Army Gen BipinRawat states that there cannot be any third party intervention in Jammu and Kashmir issue as it is bilateral in nature.
Addressing the annual press conference, the Army Chief said that We want peace in Kashmir. These youth can do better things. Kashmir can see a better future if they shun violence. Ultimate losers of what they doing is not security forces but the people of Kashmir.
The chief added that the talks for J&K have to be On our terms and conditions at the negotiating table. Shun the gun; give up violence, if all that can happen we can talk. No one size fits all. You have to look into national interest. Talks can only happen if they give up violence. Can someone give us guarantee our boys won t be attacked? The Army has a Sadbhawna Project going on. In fact we are using both hard and soft power approach in Kashmir. The Northern Command of the Indian Army taking care of the borders with Pakistan and some parts of Line of Actual Control is soon going to be equipped with the new sniper rifles from this month. On January 20th the new snipers will come for the Northern Command.
We are getting one of the best sniper rifles, said the chief.
As for the talks with the Taliban, the chief said if a number of countries were talking to the Taliban, and if India has an interest in Afghanistan, then "we should also join the bandwagon". He asserted, however, that the same analogy cannot apply to Jammu and Kashmir.
India has supported Afghanistan but no boots on grounds. There is a need to take our own call on our own terms. We should not be left out," he said. As has been reported earlier, official policy of India has been: "no engagement with the Taliban". Countries including the US, Russia, Iran and Pakistan have been talking with the Taliban.
India has always supported the process of talks based on the condition that it is within the framework of Afghanistan's constitution and should be "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".
Last year, India had participated in the Moscow talks on Afghanistan, in which the Taliban also took part. India participated at a non-official level, sending two former diplomats. To a question regarding the modernisation of the Indian Army, the chief said that it is happening. New bullet proof jackets have come in. We getting TATA Safaris and it will be mounted with verticals. Mine protected vehicles (MPVs) are being used. The army will get better UAVs.
According to the chief, on the Chinese border there has been peace and tranquility post Wuhan informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.
Instructions were given to northern, central command. There can be perception of Line of Actual Control (LAC). Directions are very clear, including interaction at lower command, he added.
On plans of downsizing the army the chief told the media that so far four different studies have been done. And these will reach the government soon. The man power will be saved by restructuring the force, he said.
Army Chief also said India cannot be left out of the "bandwagon" when a number of major countries reaching out to Taliban, noting that the engagement was necessary to pursue New Delhi's interests in the war-torn country.
He said India should not be out of the "high table" where key players are engaging with the Taliban to explore ways to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
"A number of countries are talking to the Taliban. The issue we should address is do we have an interest in Afghanistan. If the answer is yes, then you cannot be out of the bandwagon," he said during a press conference.
In his address at the Raisina Dialogue on Wednesday, Gen. Rawat backed dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"Our thinking is that yes we have an interests in Afghanistan and if we have interests, and if other people are saying that there should be talks, we should also become its part. May be directly or indirectly. We cannot be left out," he said.
Gen. Rawat said there has been a feeling that things have improved in Afghanistan.
"In some of the areas development has happened. There is a people's voice emerging to say that we want peace. Therefore, some nations decided that lets start talks with Taliban and see whether they can also be brought in the system of governance," he said.
"Unless you are not sitting on the high table you will not know what is happening... I did not say take the lead and talk," he said.
The Army Chief's comments Wednesday on engaging with Taliban were first such public remarks by a senior functionary of the government.
Major powers like the US and Russia have been reaching out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.
India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
In a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in "non official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.
The conference organised by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries including the US, Pakistan and China.
India has been maintaining a policy of not engaging with the Taliban and pressing for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiative to bring peace and stability in the war-ravaged country.
The situation along the nearly 4,000-km long border between India and China has improved following the summit talks between Prime Minister NarendraModi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan last year, Army Chief Gen. BipinRawat said Thursday.
He said certain "directives" were issued to various formations along the border following the Wuhan summit and they are being followed.
"We have been able to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Chinese border, particularly after the Wuhan summit. Common directions were issued and they are being followed," he said addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day on January 15.
At the same time, he made it clear that same policy is being followed in protecting the border with Pakistan as well as with China, indicating that the Indian Army was not lowering its guard along the Chinese frontier.
"It is not that different policies are being followed for Northern and Western border," he said.
"I would say that with the northern border, we have been able to maintain the kind of peace and tranquillity that we wished," he added.
Gen. Rawat said there have been regular interactions between the Indian Army and the Peoples Liberation Army as part of confidence building measures.
In their informal summit in Chinese city of Wuhan in April last year, Modi and Xi decided to issue "strategic guidance" to their militaries to strengthen communications so that they can build trust and understanding.
The informal summit had taken place seven months after the Doklam standoff.
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day face-off in Doklam from June 16, 2017, after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The impasse ended on August 28.
As concerns mounted over Chinese infrastructure build-up in Tibet Autonomous Region and near Doklam tri-junction, the government is also expediting implementation of pending projects like laying of roads, construction of bridges, strengthening of key military airfields and enhancing surveillance along the nearly 3,600-km Sino-India border.
Gen. Rawat said India is also developing required infrastructure along the Sino-India border.

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