China has realised that they cannot back their “so-called all-weather friend” all the time, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Thursday referring to Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism and the ongoing plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“They [China] have taken a step back,” he said in a brief interaction with media. “There is all-round pressure on Pakistan regarding its support for cross-border terrorism and they may have to rethink their strategy”.
There was an “external dimension” to cross-border related incidents. Pakistan was under the glare of the FATF and they must have factored in that “to tone down their rhetoric.” The crucial FATF plenary was under way in Paris, which would decide if Pakistan moved out of the 'Grey List' or moved into the ‘Black List’, he said.
Incidents of terrorism and terror-related incidents in Kashmir have gone down, but the Line of Control (LoC) remained active and Cease Fire Violations (CFV) continued as attempts to cross the LoC were on everyday, including attempts by the Border Action Teams (BAT of Pakistan), he said.
Gen. Naravane asserted that the counter-infiltration grid had been strengthened. “No infiltration attempt has been successful.”
On the health condition of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the fallout of it, he said the former’s health had been a matter of concern and security forces were prepared to take care of any situation.
On the proposed establishment of theatre commands, he said they were in the “very preliminary” stages and there would be detailed discussions before anything is finalised.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat recently outlined one or two commands for the Northern Command and two theatres for the Western Command, with Jammu and Kashmir being a seperate one, hoped theaterisation would start by 2022.
“We are still at the ideation stage,” Gen. Naravane said, adding that they were bouncing off a few ideas to see how to find the best combination with the conventional and sub-conventional threats.