September 2007 News

Tenfold troop increase required in J&K

17 September 2007
The Daily Times

New Delhi: Rejecting the idea of demilitarisation, a top Indian army general commanding troops in Jammu and Kashmir has said that he requires a tenfold increase in existing troop levels to stamp out infiltration completely. At least ten times more force level is required to fully stop the infiltration, which takes place through several rivulets and nullahs that crisscross the Line of Control, Northern Command General Officer Command in Chief Lt Gen H S Panag told reporters in Srinagar. He said it was not possible for troops to guard the entire stretch of the Line of Control (LoC) as well as carry out counter- insurgency operations with the current approved strength. The infiltration can come down to zero level only if the entire LoC is guarded, which requires a huge force level, he added. Militant training camps: Quoting intelligence reports, the commander claimed 52 trainings camps were still operational across the LoC. Out of these, 29 to 30 are in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and the Northern areas, while others are in other areas of Pakistan, he said.Rejecting that demilitarisation was necessary since the situation had improved, the general said that around 5,000 trained militants were waiting to enter into the state. He also said that militancy had largely moved to South Kashmir since 2003. Gen Panag claimed Pakistan had adopted a wait and watch policy and could ignite militancy at any time. We have a successful counter-terrorism strategy but need to keep a vigil because Pakistan can raise it [militancy] any time, he said.


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