Months after the terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot was bombed by Indian Air Force, Pakistan very recently “reactivated” it, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Monday.
“Let me tell you, Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently. Obviously that shows that Balakot was affected and damaged and destroyed. That is why people had got away from there,” Rawat said at a press conference here.
The Army Chief was responding to questions on whether there were new terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“It highlights that some action had been taken by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Balakot and now they have got the people back there,” he said.
On February 27 this year, IAF fighters flew deep into Pakistan to bomb a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror facility at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The action came after the February 14 suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, which killed over 40 CRPF personnel. Since then tensions between India and Pakistan had escalated.
The Army Chief also responded to questions on ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, Rawat said that Pakistan violates ceasefire in order to push terrorists into India.
“We know how to deal with ceasefire violations. Our troops know how to position themselves and take action. We are alert and will ensure that maximum infiltration bids are foiled,” he said.
On being asked whether there is communication breakdown in the valley, the Army Chief said, “There is a communication breakdown between terrorists in the Kashmir Valley and their handlers in Pakistan but there is no communication breakdown amongst people. All the telephones lines have been opened up.”
The Army Chief also spoke about Islam saying, “I feel the interpretation of Islam by some elements who possibly want to create disruption is being fed to a large number of people. It is not that the religion is bad but the manner in which it is interpreted for whatever reasons, it is affecting people who listen and get carried away and swayed by such messages.”
“I think it is important we have preachers who convey the correct meaning of Islam in whatever form it was written by those who wanted Islam to be preached in a proper manner,” he added.
Highlighting the importance of securing the country’s borders, Rawat said that every nation has to secure its borders. “We have unsettled borders along the northern front and partially unsettled border along the western front. We have to be all the more alert to ensure that no intrusion takes place along the border,” he said.
“We also know that there is state-sponsored terrorism which is being sponsored by our western neighbour and terrorists do come in from that side to create violence in our territory particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Not that the other states are devoid of terror, it is because of our intelligence agency that we are able to pick up the signs and foil a lot of incidents of violence,” he said.
“It is also important to incorporate technology while guarding the border. So emphasis is now being given on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance called ISR,” he added.