October 2004 News

British General Applauds Indian Army For Line On J&K

21 October 2004
The Pioneer

Srinagar: Drawing parallels between conflicts in Kashmir and Ireland, the British Army Chief Gen Sir Mike Jackson, who is currently on a two- day visit to the Valley, said that military operations alone are not enough to campaign against counter-insurgency. Instead he insisted on economic and political progress and social development.The British Chief of General Staff, who arrived here on Wednesday along with Defence Attache Brigadier Ido Rees and a host of staff officers, was talking to reporters at 15 Corps headquarters here. He lauded the Indian Army for their improvement in security situation and human rights. Asked whether there were similarities between Kashmir and Northern Ireland, Gen Jackson said that he found some parallels. He, however, insisted not to abide by the assumption that situation in one part of the world has a mirror image in another part. He appreciated the line taken by the Indian Army to tackle the situation in Kashmir. 'There are principles in a campaign like this. They have been understood (by the Indian Army) very well', he said. On the improvement in security situation in Kashmir, he said, 'There is a considerable success and the situation is improving', he said. 'The statistics show a considerable decrease in the complaints on human rights violations', the British General said. Referring to the British Government's stance on Kashmir, Gen Jackson reiterated his country's belief that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral problem between the two concerned countries. 'The UK would wish to see a peaceful settlement of Kashmir, which is entirely a bilateral matter between the two countries concerned', he maintained. He rejected the notion that the timing of his visit had anything to do with the present scenario building up between India and Pakistan. 'This was a long plan conceived 10 months or even more back', he said. He said that Indian and British Armies would be holding joint exercises in the coming spring. The British Army Chief's visit follows that of the Secretary of State for Defence to New Delhi. India and the UK have many links and numerous exchanges of personnel have taken place besides the visits of Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Air Staff, the British General said. Earlier at the Corps headquarters, Gen Jackson was briefed by Northern Army Commander Gen Hari Prasad and 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma.


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