2014 a crucial year for J&K, says Army commander
The Army has said this would be a crucial year in terms of peace in the state, as there would be a "spillover" effect of the US troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan, leading to a possible increase in terrorist activity.Updated: Jan 15, 2014 19:37 IST
The Army has said this would be a crucial year in terms of peace in the state, as there would be a "spillover" effect of the US troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan, leading to a possible increase in terrorist activity.
"We know there will be a threat in Jammu and Kashmir as after their withdrawal, many terrorists would be out of a job and might try to disrupt the democratic process in the state," Northern Command GoC-in-C Lt general Sanjeev Chachra told mediapersons at a function held to mark Army Day here on Wednesday.
The Army commander said terrorist camps were still intact and terrorists had the capability to strike.
"It is a crucial day as though the Army could keep the terrorists at bay last year, terrorists have camps, intent and capabilities to disturb peace. The troops are on alert as we cannot afford to be complacent," said the Army commander.
"To counter the threat from terror camps, we have to secure our borders and keep peace inside the territory, which will ensure that there are no problems," he said, adding that Army personnel were taking care to prevent collateral damage to ensure peace.
"During counter-insurgency operations, if a terrorist manages to slip past the cordon and there are chances of collateral damage if we chase him, we will let him run, because we know that ultimately, we will be able to catch him with the help of the Intelligence, and letting him go will help maintain peace," he claimed.
He added that terrorists were aiming at soft targets, but the Army had neutralised their top commanders, leaving their outfits useless. "In Sepetember and October last year, we shot down most of their leadership, and are chasing down some more top commanders," he said.
Pakistan's attempts to disturb peace
Chachra said Pakistan had sent a Border Action Team (BAT) to disturb peace and inflicted casualties, but the Army responded with "maturity". "The Army has learnt its lesson and foiled another such action three days ago. The security grid has to be strengthened in a manner that terrorists are not allowed to cross the borders and their ability to incite violence is controlled," he added.
Chachra said while there has been peace along the border with China, some incidents of transgression have taken place due to "varying perceptions" of the border. "We should have a comprehensive agreement to sort out the differences. The Army is focusing on raising infrastructure in Ladakh so that we have reasonable position there," he added.
The Army commander said though last year was peaceful in terms of number of terrorist incidents, the number of ceasefire cases was "very high". A DGMO-level meeting was held recently, and troops were on alert.
Human rights violations
The Army commander said clear instructions had been given that human rights violations would not be accepted.
First Published: Jan 15, 2014 19:33 IST