Talks with Taliban in India, Pakistan’s interest, we all want stability: Indian Army Chief

Srinagar: The Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has backed talks with Taliban however added that there should be no conditions involved.

“There should be talks with Taliban so long as they don’t come with pre-conditions and so long as they are looking at lasting peace in Afghanistan and bring about stability in that country,” he said.

“It is in our interest, region’s interest, and in Pakistan’s interest. We all want stability,” he added.

General Rawat said Pakistan, which helped organise a dialogue between the US and the Taliban in December, was rightly aiming for a favourable situation in Afghanistan, a neighbour with which it shares an over 2,400-km border.

“Pakistan has always treated Afghanistan as its backyard. They are concerned about it and, as a military leader, I would say why not be concerned about their backyard,” he added. “They always want a situation in Afghanistan which is favourable to them. So, even if it implies speaking to the devil, they will do it.”

Speaking at Raisina Dialogue 2019, a multilateral conference on international policy matters, General Rawat said that terrorism was a multi-headed monster that would exist as long as nations continued to sponsor it.

“Terrorism is becoming a new form of warfare. A weaker nation is using terrorists as proxy to put pressure on another nation to come to terms with it,” he said.

Rawat also said that there was a need to control social media as it was becoming a source of spreading radicalisation.

He said a different kind of “radicalisation was being witnessed in India and in Jammu and Kashmir, the youth were getting radicalised due to a lot of misinformation, disinformation, and a lot of falsehoods on religion being fed to them.”

“That is why you find more and more educated youth being drawn into militancy,” he said.

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