NEW DELHI: In a stern warning to Pakistan, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat Sunday said that surgical strike is a weapon of surprise and must remain so while hinting that the security forces will respond when the appropriate times comes.
''Surgical strike is a weapon of surprise. Let it remain a surprise,'' Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said.
Surgical strike is a weapon of surprise. Let it remain a surprise: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat to ANI on being asked 'if Army will carry out another surgical strike'
— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2018
The Army Chief also backed the Narendra Modi government's decision to call off dialogue with Pakistan, asserting that talks and terror cannot go together.
"The government's policy is very clear cut... You (Pakistan) show us some initiatives so that we feel that you are not encouraging terrorism. But we see that terror activities are continuing and terrorists come from the other side of the border.
"In such an atmosphere, whether talks can be initiated that the government can only decide. I agree to the government's decision that peace talks and terrorism cannot go together," he said.
The Army Chief was reacting to the government's decision to call off the Foreign Minister-level talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
The Centre had on Friday called off a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri terrorist Burhan Wani.
''Infiltration from across the border persists despite the call for a ceasefire by Pakistan,'' said Rawat stressing that ''this cannot be allowed to continue''.
''They have been carrying out barbaric acts and Pakistan Army is used to doing this. It is not the first time that they have done it,'' the Army Chief said.
They have been carrying out barbaric acts and Pakistan Army is used to doing this. It is not the first time that they have done it: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat to ANI on BSF soldier Narendra Singh's throat slit by Pak troops near International border in Jammu (File pic) pic.twitter.com/ANvJxXTEur
— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2018
Gen Rawat warned that appropriate action has to be taken to deter terrorists from disrupting the peace in the Kashmir Valley.
He was talking at a commemoration ceremony of Haifa Day Centenary at the Teen Murti Haifa Memorial here.
A BSF patrolling party was fired upon by forces from across the Pakistan border on September 20, in which a jawan was killed. The head constable rank jawan was suspected to have been hit by a fatal sniper shot from across the border. His body was recovered in a mutilated condition later.
Gen Rawat further said they will provide security along with other agencies for the Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir to be held in November.
"Today we are also looking at Panchayat elections, we want these elections to go through because with this the power will devolve to people.
"Our job is to ensure that the civil administration there and the election commission is able to carry out their tasks so that people can come out and cast their vote in a free and forthright manner without any fear of any kind of disruption," he said.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir Shaleen Kabra had on September 16 announced that Panchayat elections in the state would be held in nine phases, from November 17 to December 11, between 8 am and 2 pm.
With the announcement of the Panchayat elections schedule, the Model Code of Conduct is already in place.
Days after the state Election Commission announced the dates for Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir, miscreants attempted to set ablaze a Panchayat Ghars in several areas of the state.
(With Agency inputs)