Prayer Time

  |      |   

 SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India (AA): An Indian Army chief on Sunday has said he wished Kashmiri protesters pick up guns instead of rocks, to provide the Indian army with a better excuse to retaliate.

Civilian protests against Indian rule in disputed Kashmir has seen thousands of people armed with rocks.

“In fact, I wish these people [pro-Independence protesters], instead of throwing rocks at us [Indian army], were firing weapons at us.

“Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I [want to do],” Gen. Bipin Rawat told Press Trust of India (PTI), the country’s major news agency, on Sunday.

Rawat’s remarks came a day after two militants, one of them 16-years-old, were killed in a gun battle in southern Kashmir.

The head of the multi-party Hurriyat alliance, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Anadolu Agency that the Indian army did not know how to handle the protesters.

“The Indian state and the army, with all its guns and power, is unable to subdue the liberation movement in occupied Kashmir and they are at a complete loss on how to deal with the stone-throwing protesters.

– ‘Doom of a country’

“They want to push our youth to extreme measures which will make it easier for them to kill our people,” he said.

In his interview with the PTI, Rawat said people in the disputed Kashmir region had lost all fear of the Indian Army, a sign he saw as the “doom of a country”.

“Adversaries must be afraid of you and at the same time your people must be afraid of you. We are a friendly army, but when we are called to restore law and order, people have to be afraid of us,” he said.

Human rights groups criticized Rawat’s remarks, calling it an admission of a policy long in use in Kashmir.

“The Indian government prefers militancy in Kashmir to stone-throwing protests and stone-throwing protests to mass rallies,” Khurram Parvez, a well-known human rights activist, told Anadolu Agency.

“After the massive people’s rallies in 2008, the Indian government decided never to allow a rally again because when a million people gather on the streets and raise a cry for independence, it is hard for India to lie to its own people and the world about the situation in Kashmir,” he said.

Parvez added that militants were “soft targets for the Indian state” while mass rallies and demonstrations were their nemesis.

– ‘Dirty war’

Army chief Rawat also lauded the use of human shields by his forces, calling it an “innovation”.

“This is a proxy war and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you. It is a dirty war… That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations,” Rawat said.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.



© 2015 - 2016 All rights reserved Islam Message