Army Chief Convenes High-level Meeting On Kashmir
26 June 2006
The Times of India
New Delhi: Taking serious note of an increase in infiltration by pro-Pakistan militants into Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief Gen J J Singh will chair a high-level meeting here on Wednesday to frame a strategy to counter the menace. Union Home Secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal and heads of almost all paramilitary forces will attend the meeting to be held at the Army headquarters, and a joint strategy will be worked out to counter militancy, especially infiltration from across the border, official sources said. This will be the third high-level meeting in less than a fortnight to discuss the increase in infiltration from across the border in Kashmir. 'The situation is grim and a large number of foreign mercenaries have managed to enter the state from Poonch and Mendhar sectors of Jammu region and the Kupwara belt of Kashmir area,' a senior defence official said. The infiltration figures till June 15 this year showed over 200 militants had sneaked into the state, whereas the figure for the corresponding period last year had been 75, the sources said. The meeting comes within days of the tough talking done by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan to the top brass of the Army, police and paramilitary forces in Srinagar last week, when he asked them to put their heads together and frame a joint strategy for countering the rise in infiltration. Narayanan had expressed apprehension at the increase in militancy from across the border, saying Pakistan might be doing this to silence hardliners within the country who are opposing the Islamabad regime's policy of fighting Al Qaeda in WANA, bordering Afghanistan, sources said.