The Kashmiri youth who have taken to militancy are "our children" but "misguided" and the Ramzan ceasefire announced by the government is an opportunity to bring them back into the mainstream, a top Army official said here today.
"It is unfortunate that some youth are joining militancy but the government has now declared a unilateral ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan," said Lt General Satish Dua, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) who has earlier served as the Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
The central government, on May 16, had announced that security forces would not launch any operation in the state during the Ramzan but they reserved the right to retaliate if attacked.
Dua said the ceasefire period can be used by the civil society, government organisations, NGOs and "elders to engage with their children" to bring them back into the mainstream.
"These youth (militants) are our children but they are misguided. We are hopeful of positive results during this one month window," he said while talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the valedictory function of flagship courses at the Military Institute of Technology (MILIT).
Replying to a query on terror activities during the ceasefire, Lt Gen Dua said that in such a scenario where terrorists open fire at the security forces, the latter had the right to retaliate in self-defence.
"During the ceasefire, we (armed forces) will not initiate any activity. But while doing this (retaliating), they (security forces) will take all precautions. That mechanism is already being built," he clarified.
Commenting on the integration among tri-services, he said that the Prime minister, over the last couple of years, had given great thrust on the integration of the forces and, hence, the Ministry of Defence was working in that direction.
"We have already identified many areas where the tri-service integration is there and where it has to be increased," he said.
"We have the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) (under the DRDO) in Bengaluru and they are working on this subject," he said.
Earlier in his address to the officer-students, Lt Gen Dua asked them to keep abreast with the latest technological developments.
A total of 146 officers from the Indian armed forces, and five officers from the Sri Lankan defence forces, completed the technical officers and naval staff courses from MILIT.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)