The infiltration of militants through Line of Control into Kashmir is dwindling since 2004 but bringing it to the level of zero was not possible, army said on Friday.
The outgoing General Officer Commanding of strategic Chinar corps Lt Gen SA Hasnain in a media interaction said that the infiltration attempts from across the border have begun this year.
“From 2004 onwards infiltration is dwindling every year owing to fencing of LoC, progressive methodology and use of better surveillance methods. And every year it becomes a challenge to repair the fence damaged due to snow before anybody takes benefit of the damages,” Lt Gen Hasnain, also flanked by GOC designate Lt Gen Om Prakash, said.
“It is a race to conquer time and amend the fence before people try to infiltrate,” he said.
The outgoing GOC however dismissed the possibility of zero infiltration. “I will never claim of zero infiltration because nowhere in the world it is possible. There will be leakages. Even on the borders of like Palestine and Jordan or US and Mexico, they have not been able to bring it to zero,” Hasnain stressed.
The Officer revealed that have been some infiltration attempts this year. “And we believe there have been some leakages this year. We got contacts with militants in Uri(on LoC in North Kashmir) and some other areas. In-fact there was some movement last night,” he said.
Hasnain however maintained that they are constantly trying to bring down the level of infiltration. “We are using counter infiltration methods of very high order,” he said.
Lt Gen Hasnain dismissed any plans of reduction in troops in relatively peaceful areas of Kashmir valley.
Although not straight but the General made it clear for decision makers to take every aspect into consideration before taking any decision of Afspa. “I have total faith that the decision on Afspa will be pragmatic. The situation of Kashmir has always been dramatic. And the decision makers have to take into consideration every aspect,” he said.
On attacks on Sarpanchs in South Kashmir
The outgoing GOC said that ‘militants were trying to gain space’ in South Kashmir to ‘resurrect their dying influence’.
“Last year we were able to eliminate the leadership of Lashkar-e-tayyeba or Jasih-e-Mohammad and there are attempts by militants to regain the space lost. The attacks on Sarpanchs were possible only when army reduced its night patrolling as a pro people gesture,” he said.
“The militancy is dying and there are not more than 300 militants in valley. To show their presence to their mentors, the militants are trying to undo what was achieved here in 2011,” Hasnain stated.
“But let me assure you that we are coordinating with police and we will redouble our efforts to increase patrolling at night. Within a fortnight you will see results,” he added.