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If Taliban want peace, talk to them: Army chief - Times of India

If Taliban want peace, talk to them: Army chief - Times of India

If Taliban want peace, talk to them: Army chief - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday backed talks with the Taliban if they were ready for lasting peace in Afghanistan, while calling for some international curbs on social media to stem the rise in radicalisation as well as terror-funding.

Gen Rawat also said terrorism, which was transforming into a new form of warfare, will continue to grow like a “multi-headed monster” till nations continue to sponsor it as a state policy. In a clear reference to Pakistan, he said a “weaker nation” was using terrorists as a proxy tool to put pressure on other nations to come to terms with it.


Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue here, the Army chief said, “There should be talks with Taliban so long as they don’t come with pre-conditions, so long as they are looking at lasting peace in Afghanistan and bring about stability in that country… It’s in our interest, region’s interest, and in Pakistan’s interest. We all want stability.” He, however, noted Pakistan had always “treated Afghanistan as its backyard” and wanted a situation that favours it in the war-ravaged country.

Stressing that social media was increasingly being used to fan radicalism through misinformation as well as generate financial resources for terrorism, Gen Rawat said it was about time that some control was exercised on it.

“I think we have a lot to do with the media and the social media which must be controlled. If one particular nation starts controlling a particular media, it will be taken as media rights are being curbed,” he said. “Therefore, I think the international community must get together in ensuring that the source of the social media is prevented from spreading false information and disinformation because a lot of funds are coming from people who are getting radicalised,” he added.

In Kashmir, for instance, he said the youth were getting radicalised by “a lot of misinformation, disinformation and a lot of falsehoods” on religion and other matters that they are getting through the social media. “That is why more and more educated youth are being drawn into terrorism,” he added.
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