New Delhi, May 13: At a time when Kashmiris have been further alienated from the mainstream India, the latest remark by Army chief General Bipin Rawat will go a long way in building bridges between the security forces and civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an interview to Indian Express, General Rawat said, "Army is not against Kashmiris, our job is to separate the terrorists from the Kashmiri people and target the terrorists."
"We understand that all Kashmiris are not involved in the so-called militancy. There are a few, select in number, who indulge in terror and violence. Our job is to separate the terrorists from the Kashmiri people and target the terrorists," he added.
The Army chief's comment has come at a time when the security forces are busy in counter-insurgency operations in the Valley in the wake of several terror strikes in the state.
According to Indian Express, General Rawat also rejected claims that the Army has returned to the Cordon and Search Operations in the Valley as a part of its counter-insurgency strategy in the state.
Recent reports suggested that Army would perform more CASO in Kashmir after security personnel conducted a CASO in 15 villages in Shopian district recently. Around 4,000 soldiers of the Rashtriya Rifles were involved in the operation.
"We are not returning to classical CASO in Kashmir, because we know they cause hardship to the local people. These are area search operations. It is not even a cordon," General Rawat said.