Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat advocated putting Kashmiri children in “de-radicalisation camps” during the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi.
“We have to bring an end to terrorism and that can only happen the way Americans started after 9/11, they said let’s go on a spree on the global war on terror. To do that you need to isolate the terrorists, anybody who is sponsoring terrorism has to be taken to task,” he said, according to The Wire.
The former army chief also suggested diplomatic isolation and blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force as means to deal with terror.
“Radicalisation can be countered. We saw it happening in Kashmir… Today, we see that young children are also being radicalised. They need to be identified and then we need to put them in de-radicalisation camps. The Indian army has not been using hard tactics… Pellet guns are a non-lethal practice. It is sparingly used,” Rawat said.
Pakistan has slammed his comments. In a statement issued on Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said Pakistan condemns the highly irresponsible remarks made by General Rawat. She called the suggestion of putting children in de-radicalisation camps “repugnant”.
These remarks are reflective of the extremist mindset and bankrupt thinking that have evidently also permeated the state institutions of India, read the statement. It said India was not in a position to talk about terrorism when it was a “perpetrator of unabated state-terrorism in occupied Kashmir”.
Calling Indian-held Kashmir the world’s largest prison camp, Farooqui said the 900,000 Indian forces are perpetrating violations of human rights with complete impunity.
The spokesperson said General Rawat’s talk of “deradicalization camps” for Kashmiri children was simply despicable. She also called his remarks about the FATF proof of India’s “repeated attempts to politicize the FATF’s technical proceedings for advancing its narrow, partisan objectives”.
The Foreign Office spokesperson urged the world community to take cognizance of the BJP government’s desperate attempts to divert attention from the unacceptable situation in Indian-held Kashmir, growing domestic protests against discriminatory laws and practices, and its unabashed animus towards India’s minorities.