Reasserting the Centre's claim on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, on Thursday, has said that the Army will act according to the government's orders. When asked about Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh's statements about India taking back Aksai Chin and PoK, Rawat expressed his happiness at the statement. He added that the Centre's claim was the truth. He also said that the government control decision on such issues.
"We are very happy listening to this statement. This is the truth. We follow the Government's orders on PoK. As the government instructs, the various establishments throughout the nation will function. The Army is ever ready to do as instructed by the government," he said.
Speaking about the ground situation in Kashmir, Rawat said that residents must realise their gains due to abrogation of article 370. He stated that Kashmir was an integral part of India and that the inconvenience caused due to the restrictions was temporary. He also urged the residents to help the administration in maintaining peace. He added that after experiencing terror for so long, Kashmir must now give peace a chance.
"Jammu and Kashmir residents should understand that whatever is happening is for their welfare. The government has revoked article 370 from the Valley, thus proclaiming Kashmir an integral part of India. As they are our own people and the territory comes under India, such measures were necessary. The inconveniences felt by the J&K residents should be seen with respect to the activities taken up there. I feel that Kashmir residents should help the security forces, administration in maintaining peace in the Valley. They have experienced terrorism for thirty years. Now, they should experience the peace that will emerge from the ongoing steps of the government," he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, restrictions were lifted from most parts of Kashmir. Some areas in Srinagar city witnessed an increased presence of private transport leading to traffic jams. But schools remained closed and public transport was off the roads, officials said. Medical facilities are available to Valley residents with the Centre informing of the situation at regular intervals.
Officials said that restrictions have been lifted from most areas of the valley, but security forces continued to be deployed to maintain law and order. The restrictions were re-imposed in parts of the valley on Tuesday to prevent any procession in the city and elsewhere in the valley on the tenth day of Muharram. Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5, when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories. Markets and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads across the valley, the officials said.