No Al-Qaeda presence in J&K so far: Army | india | Hindustan Times
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No Al-Qaeda presence in J&K so far: Army

Ruling out the presence of Al-Qaeda, the army says nothing has been established so far to corroborate reports about the terror group's operatives in the state.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2007 03:23 IST

Ruling out the presence of Al Qaeda in Jammu and Kashmir, the army on Sunday said nothing has been established so far to corroborate reports about the terror group's operatives in the state.

"Much has been said by the print and electronic media about Al Qaeda's presence in Jammu and Kashmir but nothing has been established so far to corroborate these reports, Northern Command chief, Lt Gen H S Panag, told reporters after laying wreaths at Dhruv War Memorial on the occasion of the unit's 36th Raising Day.

Gen Panag, looking after the operational command in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir regions, said: "I would say we also have no records in the past about Al Qaeda operatives having being found during counter-insurgency operations in the state."

"Only one odd case was reported about one Al Qaeda militant of Afghanistan long back," he said, adding after investigation it also turned to be untrue.

"I think security forces, the CID and IB are investigating into it. We shall wait for what they have to say," said Panag, who took over as the Northern Command's GOC-in-C in January.

He also ruled out Al Qaeda's relations with militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir -- Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

"We are only aware of Al Qaeda's strong relations with JeM and LeT in Pakistan," he maintained.