Pakistan may instigate violence in J&K, says Army chief
The Indian Army expects Pakistan to instigate violence in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to internationalize the Jammu and Kashmir issue, Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat said.
“From the rhetoric and false information campaign launched by Pakistan, it is evident they are likely to create a situation to instigate violence.”
He explained that the violence will then be used to project internationally, the narrative that the of J&K are protesting against the removal of special status to the region.
On August 5, the Modi government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and divided the state into two separate Union Territories. The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh will come into being from October 31. Curbs were imposed on the movement of people and telecommunications networks blanked. Some of these restrictions are now gradually being eased.
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Since August 5, Pakistan has launched a vicious “information warfare” campaign in the cyber domain. For instance, days after the Parliament stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, a twitter handle claiming to be that of India’s Vice-Chief of Army Staff underlined human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, in the last fortnight alone, several fake social media posts have tried to create unrest in the valley. The cyber wing of the government has identified as many as 10 handles on the social media impersonating as Northern Army Commander and even the Chief of Army Staff.
“We must gradually allow the people to appreciate the benefits that will accrue to them with the actions were taken by the government. Curbs on social media will prevent the spread of disinformation and therefore our actions should be calibrated,” General Rawat said.
The Indian Army believes that preventing loss of life in J&K should be a priority. “The situation in J&K and the Valley, in particular, must be managed to avoid loss of innocent lives,” General Rawat added.
According to the Indian Army, Islamabad has put the Pakistan army on a “precautionary deployment,” along the Line of Control (LoC) – the disputed boundary between the two countries. Terror outfits are headless because of a sustained counter insurgency operations by the Indian Army, J&K Police and the para-military and Pakistan is desperately trying to push in trained and hardened terrorists to provide leadership to these groups, goes the army’s reasoning.
So far in 2019, as many over 165 terrorists including Zakir Musa, Mudasir Ahmed Khan who was behind the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 Policemen and Fayaz Panzoo of the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Several terror launch pads along the LoC - emptied after the 26 January airstrikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF)–are active again. Indian Army formations along the LoC are expecting “desperate” bids to infiltrate the border. Formations are also expecting “large group” of terrorist trying to infiltrate.
The army has so far thwarted at least a dozen of infiltration attempts along the LoC.