Kashmir is heaven, need to ensure peace: Army chief

New Delhi: Kashmir is heaven, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said today, stressing the need to bring the Valley back to the period before militancy erupted there in the late 1980s.

Rawat said the world used to flock to the Valley, but people were not being able to come there now because of the prevailing unrest.

The Valley has been witnessing a rise in the number of stone-pelting incidents in the recent past.

“Kashmir is heaven. We have to again bring it to the level that was there before. The world flocks to see the Valley, but people are not being able to come because of the tension,” said Rawat, who has served in Jammu and Kashmir in four stints.

Referring to his stints in Jammu and Kashmir, Rawat said his first posting in the state was in 1981-82 when the “situation was good”.

The situation started deteriorating during his second posting between 1991 and 1993, he said.

He was addressing a group of Kashmiri students who were supported by the Army and have cleared the engineering entrance examination.