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Northern Command rules out demilitarisation in summers

The Northern Command of the Indian Army has categorically ruled out any demilitarization in the near future in J&K, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2007 17:54 IST
Arun Joshi

The Northern Command of the Indian Army has categorically ruled out any demilitarization in the near future in Jammu and Kashmir as it apprehends a violent summer ahead.

A preliminary assessment of the ground situation, as it exists nowadays in the State, and also the reports of infiltrators making desperate bids to cross the Line of Control, documents the pros and cons of the troop's reduction in the State. The melting of snows in the mountainous passes through which the LoC passes, has revived the fears of major infiltration bids by terrorists, currently camping across the border.

Estimated 2000-3000 militants are still waiting across the LoC to cross over to this side.

General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Northern Command, Lt Gen H S Panag, in the light of the assessment of the situation, has ruled out demilitarization in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There is no possibility of the demilitarisation in the State in the near future. There are around 1300-1500 active terrorists in the State, at this stage the army has to fulfill its duty to fight the terrorists," Gen Panag said on the sidelines of inauguration of a home for women victims of terrorism in Reasi on Wednesday.

Gen also indicated that the infiltration was still on. "Our borders are porous and we cannot take risks."

His remarks have come in less than a fortnight of the Centre having constituted three panels to examine the "reconfiguration and relocation of troops in the State."

One of these panels is headed by Defence Secretary.

Meanwhile, PDP that had hyped the issue of the demilitarization in the State is happy that the committees have been constituted.

The party leadership said it would wait for the outcome of the findings of the panels and also indicated that it would not ask for any particular time frame. "The process has begun and the whole nation has been educated about it, that is an important thing to have happened," PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed told Hindustan Times.

He said that his party is now waiting for the results." However, there is no time frame for that." " But it would be better if the process picks up the pace sooner than later," Mufti Sayeed said.

First Published: Apr 12, 2007 17:52 IST