Indian Army Chief Rawat rules out talks between militants, GoI; urges resistance leaders to engage with interlocutor

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Srinagar: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Monday ruled out direct talks between the government of India and militants, instead urging for resistance leaders to hold talks with the interlocutor appointed by the GoI.

He said that GoI has appointed an interlocutor, who is currently talking to all concerned parties.

He maintained that the interlocutor is open to holding talks with anyone who wants to speak to him. However, nothing can be done if the resistance leaders don’t come to the negotiation table.

”Interlocutor is talking to people. He is open to anybody who wants to speak to him. We’re doing indirect talks, if they (separatists) don’t want to talk, what can we do?” Gen Rawat said.

”The head of the state isn’t going to talk to the militants; it’s not going to happen,”Rawat added.

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Talking about Punjab, he said that the GoI is taking ‘full action against external forces trying to revive insurgency in Punjab’.

”Punjab CM is concerned and taking direct action so the violence doesn’t spread again. Outsiders will attempt but the people of Punjab will not let them do it,” he said.

Rawat had earlier warned that attempts are being made through “external linkages” to “revive insurgency” in Punjab and if early action is not taken, it will be too late.

He said this while addressing a gathering of senior Indian Army officers, defence experts and former senior officials of government and police at a seminar in New Delhi on ‘Changing Contours of Internal Security in India: Trends and Responses’.

(with inputs from agencies)

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