New Delhi, Jan 14: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday asserted that political initiative must go hand-in-hand with military operations in Jammu and Kashmir to bring in peace in the state. In an interview to news agency PTI, the Army chief said, “The political and all the other initiatives must go simultaneously hand-in-hand and only if all of us function in synergy, we can bring lasting peace in Kashmir. It has to be a politico-military approach that we have to adopt.”

General Rawat also claimed that there was room for ramping up heat on Pakistan to cut flow of cross-border terror activities. He said that the Army will have to evolve new strategies and new tactics to deal with the situation.

” You cannot be status quoist. You have to continuously think and keep moving forward. You have to keep changing your doctrines and concept and the manner in which you operate in such areas,” the Army chief stated.

Speaking about the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief  Dineshwar Sharma as an interlocutor in the state to initiate dialogue, Rawat said,”When the government appointed an interlocutor, it is with that purpose. He is the government’s representative to reach out to the people of Kashmir and see what their grievances are so that those can then be addressed at a political level.”

On being asked if the situation in Kashmir has improved since he has taken over as the Army chief a year ago, Gen Rawat said, “I am only seeing a marginal change in situation for the better.

“I do not think it is time to become over confident and start assuming that the situation has been brought under control because infiltration from across the borders will continue,” General Rawat added.

(With inputs from PTI)