Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Friday asked Kashmir youth who have picked up guns to shun the path of militancy and return to their families for better future.
"Any local youth picking up gun against security forces isno longer an innocent. Anyone who picks up the gun will go to the grave," theArmy Chief said, in a stern warning.
The Army, General Rawat said, was trying hard to motivatefamilies of the 'misguided youth' to motivate them to give up arms and returnto mainstream.
"We are trying to approach civil society, moulvis, parents,sisters and brothers of militants to tell them that this (the gun) is not theway forward," the Army Chief said.
He was interacting with media persons after laying wreath atKargil War Memorial as part of celebration of 20 years of victory in OperationVijay.
Rawat said it was saddening that young and educated boys,PhD holders and graduates, were joining militancy. "I am quite sure thatparents don't support their children who complete PHD, to join militancy. Theysupport these youth in the hope that in their old age these boys will be a hopefor them," General Rawat said.
The Army, he said, was gradually reaching out to people withits own social media campaign and has also started Super-30 for NEET and othercompetitive examinations for Kashmir youth.
"We are running Goodwill Schools. In the history ofmilitancy, we haven't come across any militant or stone thrower who has comefrom these Goodwill Schools. It is only because of the right education thestudents get in these schools," he said.
Responding to a question about disputed Aksai Chin, which isunder the control of China, the General said "technically" the entire area,which consisted Jammu and Kashmir at the time of signing of Instrument ofAccession, belongs to India.
"It's up to political leadership to decide how to get itback," he said. "Jammu and Kashmir is a state. In 1947 the then Majahraj HariSingh signed Instrument of Accession and Indian Army came in and fought againstPakistan infiltrators…. But then the ceasefire was declared and some part (ofthe State) was occupied by Pakistan," he said.
"We have right over entire Jammu and Kashmir, but how can weget back the reaming area is a political decision. Whether they want to get itdiplomatically or through another any decision they have to decide," hemaintained.
On frequent India-China stand-off on Line of Actual Control,the Army Chief ruled out any difference with PLA. "We have difference ofperception. But there is a well established mechanism to sort out any issuelocally," he said.
The Army Chief, in a message to people, asked them to keepsupporting armed forces. "Let me convey a message to our countrymen that anytask given to defence services will always be accomplished, no matter how challengingand how difficult the task is," he said.
He said soldiers were performing their duties in difficultterrain to guard national boundaries. "Our soldiers will continue to guard ourborders under challenging circumstances so that you can rest in peace and sleepwith comfort in your homes," he said, adding, "All we need is support so thatthe solider continued to remain motivated and encouraged."
Earlier, three service chief including Chief of Army Staff,Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and the Chief of Naval Staff AdmiralKarambir Singh laid wreath at Kargil War Memorial during a function organizedto culminate the celebrations of day.
Later, all the Chiefs of Armed forces walked through thememory lane, and interacted with the invitees, troops and next of the kin.
'Pak desperate to keep Kashmir issue alive'
Meanwhile, Army Chief warned Pakistan of a "bloodier nose"if it chooses to go into another war with India, even as he advised theneighboring country of not repeating the "misadventures".
"Don't do it. Misadventures are normally not repeated.You'll get a bloodier nose next time," he said addressing a pressconference here.
The Army chief said Pakistan has been making "desperateattempts" to keep Kashmir issue alive which "the country feels was graduallydying down".
"They have now been singled out as a state that has beensponsoring violence on Indian soil," he said. "The world at large knows thatmilitants are being trained in Pakistan. They have training camps. They are notonly providing moral and financial support, but weaponry to militantstoo," General Rawat said.
The Army chief said Pakistan was pushing "people" fromacross the borders to keep militancy alive in Kashmir. "Social media is beingused to fuel trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. These are desperate attempts to keepKashmir issue alive since they know it may no longer be an issue in theinternational community," he said.
The Army Chief said Pakistan's attempt to keep discussingKashmir was an attempt to either "draw us into a communication or gain sympathyof international community".
On US President Donald Trump's meditation remark, the Armychief said there was "difference between talks and action".
"We all know Pakistan is passing through a situation. We allknow who give orders and directions in Pakistan. There financial condition isvery weak and they can do anything to get money. And if they get money, theywill keep doing what they have been doing in the past."