New Delhi: Army Chief Bipin Rawat has said the Kartarpur Sahib corridor should be seen in isolation and not be linked to anything else. His statement came amid Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan pitching for better ties with India during the corridor’s ground-breaking ceremony in Pakistan on Wednesday. (Also read: ‘Attempts Being Made to Revive Insurgency in Punjab,’ Says Gen Rawat)

“Everyone says give peace a chance, something should happen. What has our government said today. Our government has said this (the Kartarpur Sahib corridor) is to be seen in isolation. Do not link it to anybody else. This is a one-sided decision and it has no link to any other thing,” Rawat said.

Delivering a lecture here, Rawat also said, “Every time something happens on our side (J-K), we must always address it to say that it is also going to have a radical effect on the other side (PoK). The issue is, on the other side, the complete demography has changed.”

“Pakistan has very cleverly changed the complete demography of so-called Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan. So, one is not very sure as to who is an actual Kashmiri, whom we’re addressing these issues to,” he said, adding that “people from Gilgit-Baltistan are also now being taken over gradually. So, to say that there is an identity between our side of Kashmiri and the other side, then identity thing has gradually been eroded very cleverly by Pakistanis. That is an issue we have to look at.”

Rawat explained how the youth in J-K were being radicalised by being fed falsehoods. “People are back from schools and colleges and there is nothing else to do other than watch television and look at mobile phones. These messages convey everything negative and falsehood,” he said.

He pointed out how unemployment was another issue to deal with. “Today there are people with the same discrepancies in other parts of the country but have they taken to the gun? They haven’t…In Kashmir, it is only happening because of radicalisation and people who are taking to the gun are being treated as martyrs,” he added.