Indian Army chief offers militants peace
21 November 2005
The Daily Times
Srinagar: Militants who give up violence in Jammu and Kashmir will be given government assistance to restart their lives, the Indian Army chief said on Monday.'We will welcome militants who want to shun the path of violence,' said General Joginder Jaswant Singh on a visit to the quake-devastated areas of Jammu and Kashmir. 'We will provide them security and help them shape their future,' Singh said during the one- day visit to the scenic Himalayan region.Singh visited Uri and Tangdar, two areas worst-hit by the October 8 quake that claimed 1,300 lives in Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday.Singh said that the quake damaged training camps for militants in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, but did not give further details.In the past few weeks, the militants have stepped up attacks against pro-India politicians and Indian troops. 'They (militants) want to make their presence felt through such acts,' Singh said, referring to last week's twin bomb attacks that killed 11 and injured more than 120 in Srinagar and district.He said that infiltration from Pakistan to the Indian- administered zone was continuing.Earlier on Monday, Indian police shot dead a suspected militant commander during a gun battle in Srinagar, police said. The fighting erupted when counter-insurgency police raided a militant hideout late on Sunday. 'During the gun battle, a militant was killed and two policemen injured,' a police spokesman said, adding that the dead rebel was a commander of the hard line group Jaish-e-Mohammad.