Don't let China wean away our neighbours, Army chief Gen Rawat warns

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Minister for Education Syed Altaf Bukhari Saturday said the army chief General Bipin Rawat should confine his role to security related issues.

He said terrorists in Pakistan are "disposable commodity" and Indian Army has been focusing on punishing Pakistan Army posts which often provide cover fire to push terrorists into India.

On the increased number of ceasefire violations and casualties, he said India was ready to retaliate against any threat and would continue this approach till it sees a decrease in violations.

Gen Rawat said South Kashmir was focus of the Army's counter-terror operations after killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in 2016.

Rawat said China has been keeping its troops in north Doklam. "Let them do their responsibility", he said. "We will have to call their nuclear bluff", he said.

While speaking to reporters ahead of the Army Day, the army chief said, "The damage which is being done to us is through the social media".

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"I think army chief did not mean it. India is a democratic country and army does not have control on anything and army chief fully knows it", he said.

"It would be premature to talk about what is going to be ultimate impact of this pressure on Pakistan". He reminded Rawat that education is a state subject and they don't need sermons from Army Chief.

"I think we can not allow the neighbourhood to be drifted away from us - whether it is Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Afghanistan".

Speaking on the occasion, Altaf Bukhari said that book reading is a good habit and through this book exhibition, "we are trying to go back to the habit of book reading which is diminishing in this modern world full of technological innovations".

"It is a step by step process".

He said the army should stick to its own business and "everyone giving statements on education is not acceptable".

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