Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said on Sunday that he favoured “ramping up” the military offensive to increase pressure on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, PTI reported. Rawat said political initiatives for peace must go hand-in-hand with military operations in Jammu and Kashmir. “It has to be a politico-military approach that we have to adopt,” Rawat said.

In an interview, the Army chief told PTI that security forces in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be “status quoist” and must evolve new strategies and tactics to deal with the situation, which, he said, was slightly better than 2017. However, he added that the Army could not “become over confident and start assuming that the situation has been brought under control” because infiltration from Pakistan would continue.

In October 2017, the Central government had appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma its special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, to speak to “all stakeholders” in the state.

“When the government appointed an interlocutor, it is with that purpose [of establishing peace],” the Army chief said. “He is the government’s representative to reach out to the people of Kashmir and see what their grievances are so that those can then be addressed at a political level”.

“Military is only part of the mechanism to resolve the Kashmir issue,” Rawat added. “Our charter is to ensure that the terrorists who are creating violence in the state are taken to task and those who have been radicalised and are increasingly moving towards terrorism are prevented from doing so.”