Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that peace talks with Pakistan can only be held if the neighbouring country stops giving its support to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Rawat added that going by the current outlook of Pakistan, it doesn’t appear that it really wants peace.
Rawat was speaking during his visit to the western sector close to the India-Pakistan border to witness the ‘Hamesha Vijayee’ exercise conducted by the Southern Command in Thar desert. The army chief said that Pakistan needs to stop supporting terrorists. “Only then can we say that peace talks should take place,” PTI quoted him as saying. “We also want relations should be better but given what kind of actions there are (from their side) and terrorism is spreading in Jammu and Kashmir, it doesn’t appear that they really want peace,” Rawat added.
Speaking about the armed forces’ efforts to tackle terrorism, Rawat said that the army, paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have been taking actions against militants in the state successfully and they will continue their fight against terrorism.
The army chief’s comments come a day after Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India would like to maintain good relations with Pakistan provided it takes action against terror groups and stops supporting them.
“It is important for Pakistan to understand our core concern, which is terrorism. We have time and again asked them to take action against terrorists who are operating from their soil. This is something they (Pakistan) will have to handle if they are serious in cultivating this friendship,” Kumar was qouted as saying by PTI.
Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had recently pledged his support for better ties between the two nations. According to reports, Bajwa had said that he will support any initiative of the civilian government to resolve issues with India through talks.
(With PTI inputs)