PAHALGAM(J&K): The suspension of combat operations in Jammu and Kashmir can be extended further if the atmosphere of peace continues in the state, but any action by terrorists would trigger a rethink immediately, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday.
Rawat also said Pakistan should stop sending terrorists into the state if it was interested in peace. “If Pakistan really wants peace, then we will want them to take the first step by stopping infiltration of terrorists into our side. The ceasefire violation mostly takes place to aid infiltration,” Gen Rawattold reporters at a function here, 95 kms from Srinagar.
The Army chief said India wants peace along the borders but Pakistan was continuously violating the ceasefire, which caused loss of life and property.“When such an action takes place, we also have to respond. We cannot sit idle. If there is ceasefire violation, then there will be action from our side,” he said.
Gen Rawat said for peace, it was imperative that cross-border terrorism comes to an end. “It is imperative to stop terrorism from across (the LoC), the camps which are there where training is given to them, from where the ammunition is infiltrated into J&K and India, that should stop. If that happens, then I can assure you that peace will prevail on the borders,” he added. The Army chief said the suspension of anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir was an attempt to make people realise the benefits of peace. “The suspension of operations or what we call NICO (Non initiation of combat operations) has been done to make the people believe and see how the atmosphere is when there is peace. The way an atmosphere of peace and calm is here right now, in my opinion, the people here are very happy with that,” he said. The Union home ministry had announced on May 16 that security forces would not launch any operations in J&K during the holy month of Ramzan. However, the security forces reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people.