See Kartarpur corridor project in isolation, says Army chief Bipin Rawat

Do not link it to anybody else, says Gen. Rawat.

November 28, 2018 10:13 pm | Updated November 29, 2018 12:24 am IST - NEW DELHI

Army chief General Bipin Rawat addresses the media in Pathankot on November 12, 2018.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat addresses the media in Pathankot on November 12, 2018.

The six-km Kartarpur corridor coming up between India and Pakistan should be seen in isolation, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said on Wednesday.

“The Kartarpur Sahib corridor that is being opened, it needs to be seen in isolation. Do not link it to anybody else,” Gen. Rawat said, responding to questions from presspersons as the foundation stone for the corridor on the Pakistani side was laid on Wednesday by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Delivering a lecture on hybrid warfare at the Institute of Defence and Studies and Analyse, Gen. Rawat said that while India claimed the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, it should first control the situation on its side of Kashmir without losing sight of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

“We do claim the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir as ours. First, I feel let us take control of our own part of Kashmir, bring it under control, get the system moving there and then start looking at things,” he said.

‘Changing demography’

Gen. Rawat said the common identity on either side of Kashmir had been “gradually eroded” as Pakistan had changed the demography of PoK. “Pakistan has very cleverly changed the complete demography of PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan and so we are not sure as to who is an actual Kashmiri or is he a Punjabi who has come and occupied the areas,” he said.

The Army chief said every time peace returned to Kashmir, it was used by terrorist groups to regroup. “Sustained pressure is required.”

Talking of the need to work out an escalatory matrix in case offensive strategy is employed by India, Gen. Rawat said that to deter Pakistan, “we need the capability of punitive deterrence as a stalemate is not desirable”. Observing that India had that kind of capability with respect to Pakistan, he said: “We have to be more concerned about the other border.”

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