Pak Trying To Exploit Unrest In Kashmir: Army18 September 2010
Times of India
Chennai: Pakistan is trying to take advantage of the unrest in Kashmir as indicated by a few infiltration attempts across the border, Army chief General VK Singh said on Saturday. 'There have been more attempts at infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir in the last two months. There could be some links (between the attempts and the situation in the border state). Pakistan is trying to exploit the situation,' said Gen Singh, who was in Chennai to review the passing out parade at the Officers' Training Academy (OTA). The army chief's comments came a day after India asked Pakistan to take effective action against infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) and dismantle terror infrastructure as it is people of Jammu and Kashmir who suffer its consequences. Asked about the presence of the China's People's Liberation Army ( PLA) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Gen Singh said that at the moment it was not a matter of concern as the Chinese military was involved in some infrastructure projects there. 'We are watching. If it becomes a matter of concern, we will go to the government for required action,' he said. On the demand for dilution of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and its partial withdrawal from Kashmir, Gen Singh said as the Supreme Court observed, the provisions of AFSPA are neither arbitrary nor in violation of the Constitution of India. 'We have told the ministry of defence whatever the army has to say and the matter is under the government's consideration,' he said. On the role of women officers in combat operations, Gen Singh noted that it needs a deeper look as it was not a simple question of saying whether they have to go to combat or not. 'When the army is in action, be it on the frontline or as support system, everybody is in combat,' he said. After completing 11 months of rigorous training, 244 young men and women passed out of the prestigious OTA on Saturday. Of these, 15 male officer cadets are from the Afghan National Army and two lady cadets are from Lesotho, a land-locked country in Africa. After an impeccable drill and march-past at the famed Parameshwaran Drill Square, the young men and women, who till now were addressed as Gentlemen and Lady Cadets, walked past The Final Step', marking their induction into the Indian Army. After changing into their respective regiment's uniform, the 157 men and 70 women took an oath, sang Roshini', the OTA song, and the national anthem, before bursting into joy. Saturday's passing out parade marked the end of the 90th short service course (SSC) for men and the fourth SSC for women. In the last 47 tears, around 24,000 cadets have passed out of OTA. The young officers' parents, relatives and friends were in attendance to cheer their induction into the various regiments of the Indian Army. Gen Singh urged the young men and women to develop a global outlook and indepth understanding of international affairs and security calculus. He said the present environment was one of unprecedented complexity, ambiguity, information overload and rapid organisational change. 'Be it the conventional war or proxy war, where most of you will find your immediate assignment, you will have to learn to fully understand these complexities and challenges of modern warfare and come out with innovative and practical solutions,' said Gen Singh. He handed over the Sword of Honour and Gold Medal to Lady Cadet A Divya the first lady cadet in the history of Indian Army to receive the honour - for standing first in the order of merit. The Chief of Army Staff Banner was given to Naushera Company.