General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lt Gen AK Bhatt has said that Army can only create conditions of normalcy and the solutions critical for resolving the Kashmir problem lies in good governance and political engagement as witnessed during the Vajpayee regime.
“The military can only create conditions of normalcy. Beyond that, the initiatives have to be at levels of good governance, politically talking to people. During the Vajpayee era, it has happened, and similar initiatives the government will take at the right moment. I am sure they will,” The Sunday Express quoted Lt Gen Bhatt as having said in an interview.
The Chinar corps commander said “One of the main things is to find the methods and means to convince the youth that the path of violence will not deliver anything.”
‘And second, more importantly, is to work in the psychological space with the populace of Kashmir, to tell them that their future is far better in India than in Pakistan… that they are only being used as tools by the Jamaat, by the separatists and Pakistan,” he said.
Bhatt said Army’s role was to ensure that peace was maintained in the Valley.
“Of course long-term solutions, the government has to look at them.”
He termed the social media biggest concerned said that it was being used to “radicalise” youth as well as to mobilise crowds to gunfight sites.
“Social media is the biggest concern for me. This, which is a privilege we have in a democratic nation… why I am calling it a privilege in a democratic nation… you see how China handles it, how other countries handle it and have tight control over social media. Here, social media is entirely free. And the freedom has resulted in this being used very actively by our adversaries.” Creating an “indigenous social media platform” could be the solution, according to Bhatt.
The other worry, the Army’s Valley chief said, was “larger number of local recruitments”.
“It has gone down in the last two months. But in the early months of April, May and June, this slightly increased. That is why, despite us killing about 200 (militants), the number is still the same,” he said and added in the Interview that the Jaish-e-Mohammad was a concern and was among those recruiting locally.