Terrorist-politician nexus poses nuclear threat to nations: Army chief

17 January 2018

With nations sponsoring terrorists there is a possibility of nuclear and chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, which could spell disaster for humanity, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said.

Speaking during an interaction at Raisina Dialogue, currently underway at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the national capital, General Rawat said terrorists already have access to high-tech weapons and with increasing collusion between the state and terror elements, it is possible that terrorists could also get access to weapons of mass destruction.

The General was referring to the possibility of Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed forming a political party to contest elections. With Saeed getting majority support a possibility in the Pakistan context, he said there is a real threat of terrorist gaining access to WMD.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, General Rawat stressed that nations sponsoring terrorist organisations need to be singled out.

''Terrorists are using systems which are highly technology enabled and transcending international borders. We need to disrupt terrorists and their sponsors. We need to identify nations who are sponsors,'' the Army chief said.

He also said there was a need to put some checks and curbs on internet as well as social media that terrorist organisations use to great advantage. While acknowledging that it would be difficult in a democratic country, the Army chief said people would have to take a call on whether they want a safe and secure environment and are willing to accept temporary curbs.

On Kashmir, the Army Chief claimed that the people have realised that what they desired for cannot be achieved. ''People of Kashmir in general are getting tired of terrorism. It has not given them what they desired for. You cannot cede away from India. People have realised that. Some have got radicalised… I feel most of them want to join the mainstream,'' General Rawat said, adding that the deradicalisation campaign needs to continue. ''If that continues, we will soon be able to put an end to terrorism in Kashmir.''

For the Army, General Rawat said, the priority was better surveillance equipment, good assault rifles, ballistic helmets and bullet-proof jackets, all of which would help empower the Indian soldier.

He said the modernisation process for the infantry was long overdue and the on-going modernisation process would help boost the Army's capabilities to operate in adverse conditions as well as at night.

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