SRINAGAR: Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday sought to put the lid on the demand by the mainstream parties' in Jammu and Kashmir for a unilateral ceasefire in the wake of the upcoming Ramzan and Amaranth yatra by questioning the wisdom behind it. The Army was ready to suspend military operations to avoid civilian casualties, he said but asked who will guarantee that "there won't be fire at our men, at our vehicles?"
“Who will guarantee that policemen, political workers, our men returning home on leave aren't attacked, aren’t killed,” the General is quoted as aking. He also ruled out azadi for the disturbed state and insisted the angry youth cannot fight the army and win.
Suggesting that the youth, who have picked up guns in the Valley again after a lull, have fallen in the trap laid by Pakistan and fighting the army, Gen Rawat said the Army will give a befitting reply if people wanted to fight with it. The general said armies in Pakistan and Syria use tanks and air power in similar situations but the Indian Army has been trying its best to avoid civilian casualty despite huge provocation. The Army chief, who acknowledged that the youth were indeed angry, however, said attacking the security forces and throwing stones at them “isn’t the way”.