New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) next week, India Thursday sought the blacklisting and diplomatic isolation of Pakistan for allegedly sponsoring terror not just here but also in Afghanistan.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat said if blacklisting does not go through, more hard action will have to be taken.
“Any country that is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task. I feel blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is one good measure. Diplomatic isolation, you have to do this,” Gen Rawat said while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi Thursday.
He added that if the blacklisting fails to yield desired results, then hard action needs to be taken. He, however, did not elaborate on what these hard actions would be.
Speaking on terrorism, Rawat said the menace is here to stay as long as there are states that sponsor terrorism and use terrorists as proxies by providing them with funds and weapons.
“We have to bring an end to terrorism and that can only happen the way Americans started after 9/11,” Gen Rawat said. “They said let’s go on a spree on global war on terror. To do that, you have to isolate the terrorists and anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task.”
“The war on terror is not ending, it is something which is going to continue, we will have to live with it, until we understand and get to the roots of terrorism,” Gen Rawat said.
A joint group of FATF will scrutinise Pakistan’s compliance and performance report in Beijing where it is scheduled to meet from 21 January to 24 January. The Pakistani delegation will be given an opportunity to defend each and every point written in its progress report.
Pakistan had recently dispatched its detailed reply running into 120-odd pages along with annexure details of 500 pages to the Joint Group of FATF to share progress on 22 points in a bid to come out of the grey list.
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‘Support US peace talks with Taliban’
Gen Rawat further said India supports the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He, however, said the negotiations should be for a long-term peace solution and not a temporary one.
“You have to come to a peace deal with everybody (in Afghanistan),” he said. “If you have to come to a peace deal with them you have to go for negotiated peace. The Taliban or whichever organisation is contemplating terror has to give up that weapon. They must come to the political mainstream and then rule.”
Asked if he thinks the Taliban will give up guns, Gen Rawat said no and added that Pakistan will continue to back the Taliban.
CDS has authority over Service chiefs
Gen Rawat said even though he is the first among the equals vis-a-vis the Service chiefs, the CDS has “some” authority over the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
“CDS is the first among equals but he has got clear and well defined responsibilities. While he is the first among equals, he has some authority over the three Service chiefs except on operational issues,” he said.
Gen Rawat said the task of the CDS is well cut out and the four will be able to function within the firm framework that has been laid out.
“I don’t visualise any problems. We have had meetings with the three chiefs and a lot of decisions have already been taken in the past 15 days,” he said.
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‘Radicalisation can be countered’
Gen Rawat said it is wrong to say that radicalisation cannot be countered, and pointed out that children as young as 10-12 years old were being radicalised in Kashmir.
“Anything that has started can be put to an end… Radicalisation can be countered. You go to start looking at where the radicalisation has started,” he said.
Rawat also said it was important to get to the nerve of the issue and see who is radicalising people.
“You can start isolating these people gradually. And then start a counter radicalisation programme by identifying people who have been radicalised to what degree,” he said, underlining that it is important to separate them according to the degrees of radicalisation.
“In Kashmir we saw radicalisation happening. Today, we are seeing radicalisation happening even among young people. Girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 are now being radicalised. These people can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way. But, there are people who have been completely radicalised,” said the CDS.
He added, “These people need to be taken out separately. Possibly taken into some de-radicalisation camps. We have got de-radicalisation camps running in our country. Let me tell you that even Pakistan is doing the same.”
‘Army is not being heavy handed in Kashmir’
Contrary to the image that has been “created of the Army”, CDS Rawat said, the force was not being heavy-handed in Kashmir.
“Indian Army had to be heavy-handed in the very initial stages when the proxy war was launched on us in the early 1990s. That time we had to use some hard measures. Thereafter, Indian Army has not been using hard tactics,” he said, pointing to the large number of casualties among the security forces.
He added: “If we were heavy handed, we would not be suffering casualties. Because every time we suspect a place to be infested with terrorists, we will just go and blow the place away. But we first take the shot at ourselves and then identify a location where the terrorists are. Only then we start acting. There is a lot of misinformation.”
‘Can’t blame forces for injuries caused by pellet guns’
Replying to a question on pellet injuries to civilians, Rawat said security forces cannot be blamed for injuries on faces of stone pelters in the Valley.
“They were young people, who were radicalised…who were pelting stones that are as lethal as pellet guns. We have had casualties including death being caused because of stone pelting. If the services or the security forces also start using stones against the stone pelters, that is not the way security forces are meant to act.”
The CDS said pellet guns are supposed to be a non-lethal weapon system and fired at the legs. He added that some people bend down while trying to pick up stones and get hit by pellet guns in the face.
“He (security personnel) is not aiming for the face but the leg. I don’t think security forces can be blamed for injuries caused by pellet guns. Now we have devised different ways of dealing with this and pellet guns are very sparingly used. I would say rarely being used in the valley,” said Rawat.
The report has been updated to add Rawat’s quotes on radicalisation, Army actions in Kashmir and pellet injuries.
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Pakistan is a proven terrorist nation, their track record shows it all. Nothing is hidden from the world. The only way to curb terrorism in Pakistan is to blacklist it in FATF.
Pakistan is a proven terrorist nation. China is the main culprit in converting pakistan into a terrorist nation.
Rawat is right that the war on terror is not ending in spite of US and others taking many steps against terror. This statement itself rebuts the arguments by the Centre to continue with Internet clamp down in J&K. If the terror war is not ending, does that mean the clampdown is forever ? That will be a gross violation of human rights , as the SC says, and will be no better than what CHina is doing to their Uighurs in Xinjiang. BJP Govt must take Rawat at face value that the terror threat is a long term one and desist from draconian measures like long term Internet shut downs.
Internet is not a ‘human right’ notwithstanding what the SC may feel about. If the Govt refuses to implement their orders, what is the SC going to do about it? Not just internet, Kashmir Valley has to be put under other forms of restrictions which breaks the will of the Kashmiris to fight.
Lord Curzon could not have put it better.
PLease note it is not the Kashmiris as a whole who are fighting but a small subset of misguided people driven by Pak funds. Do not generalize to the whole of Kashmir.
Secondly, our Govt can defy the SC only if someone in Delhi decides to become a dictator like Hitler , Stalin or Trujillo.
Well said general
No the General didn’t say well at all. Pakistan wouldn’t be blacklisted.
Why weren’t you able to blacklist last time?
Its time to declare the CDS as political post officially and in the next step handover the governance to CDS and post of PM of India should be downgraded to Internal propaganda minister. 50% of the state budget should be allocated to defense ministry for buying war machines, defence infrastructure and welfare of troops and officers. The remaining 50% of budget may be spent for 130cr scum bags who cannot able to exercise basic right/duty of electing a proper leader.
Frustrated much? Modi & Rawat will stay for much longer than you can envisage.
Modi ka pata nahi… Scum bags like will surely ensure that the country will go under military rule
India is not America. The US has spent $ 6 trillion on the War on Terror and does not seem to be winning it. Fortunately not many American lives have been lost, although quite a few soldiers have been wounded, will suffer disabilities for life. There cannot be military solutions to political problems.
India did not spend more than 500 million in the 10 years it spent building up the TTP in Pakistan. We can sustain that expenditure for decades on end without consequences. Islamic Terrorism is not a political issue but a military one.
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