Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Singh Rawat has left the doors open for any kind of peace talk with Taliban in the future. But he also laid down a condition which asks the Taliban to give up weapons and enter into the political arena.
“You have to come to a peace deal with everybody (in Afghanistan), if you’ve to come to a peace deal with them you’ve to go for negotiated peace. Taliban or whichever organisation is contemplating terror has to give up that weapon of terror, they must come to the political mainstream,” he said. “It should not be a way to find an exit,” he added it referring to the planned U.S. exit from the country.
He was speaking on a panel on countering terrorism at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation and there he said security forces could not be blamed for injuries caused due to pellet guns and the radicalised stone-pelters were “more dangerous” than the pellet guns. “The pellet guns are non-lethal weapons which are now used very rarely and only aimed below the legs,” he said.
“We had to be heavy-handed when terrorism was forced upon us in the 1990s,” he said. Stating that the casualties of security forces with respect to terrorists was 1:3, he added, “If we were heavy-handed we wouldn’t have these casualties.”
“We’ve to bring an end to terrorism and that can only happen the way Americans started after 9/11. They said let’s go on a spree on global war on terror. To do that, you have to isolate the terrorists. Anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task,” Gen. Rawat said adding, “With Pakistan we are going for blacklisting under Financial Action Task Force. If not, then we have to go for decisive action.”
When asked about how the CDS would work with the three Service Chiefs, Gen. Rawat said the CDS was the first among equals and had 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 adding they he had meetings with the three Chiefs and a “lot of decisions have already been taken in past 15 days.”