Humane approach with people: Lt Gen Hasnain16 December 2010
The Daily Excelsior
SRINAGAR: General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army's strategic 15 Corps Lt General S A Hasnain today said he would be adopting a humane approach with the people of Kashmir in his efforts to usher in stability to the Valley. 'My approach is entirely human and nothing more than that. I think my force should not be seen as a force with arms everywhere,' Lt Gen Hasnain, who became only second Muslim officer to command 15 Corps in the past 20 years, told reporters on the occasion of Vijay Diwas, marking the victory over Pakistan Army in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Lt General Zaki was the last Muslim officer to command the 15 Corps, one of the three Corps in Jammu and Kashmir, since 1990. Lt Gen Hasnain said he was looking at a long term perspective where Army can assist the State administration and the Government in reaching out to the people by putting a balm on the wounds which may have occurred in Kashmir over a period of time. 'Our main weapon is our heart and that is the main weapon we carry around in all our efforts to ensure that we bring stability to the State all over again,' he said. The Corps Commander said his main emphasis at the moment was to study the situation here. 'My emphasis at the moment is to study the situation here ... I think the internal situation here is seeking my attention,' he said. Lt Gen Hasnain said the recent summer unrest, in which more than 100 civilains were killed, was 'extremely well-handled'. 'I may say that the situation was extremely well -handled. The Army was in the background advising and assisting wherever it could,' he added. He said Army was well integrated with the State Government and was advising Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wherever it could. 'We are very much integrated with every effort of the State Government and I am also a Security Advisor to the Chief Minister. I always look forward to putting forward our advice. This is a kind of system that has existed in a very successful way in the State and I hope it will carry on,' the Corps Commander said. Meanwhile, a Defence spokesman said the Army observed Vijay Diwas by laying wreaths in honour of the country's Martyrs. Lt Gen Hasnain paid tribute to India's war-heroes saying, 'Vijay Diwas is dedicated to the memory of soldiers who laid down their lives for the country in the 1971 war'. He also commended the 1971 operation as one of the Indian military's most magnificent achievements and congratulated the soldiers. In a simple ceremony, the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regimental Centre celebrated Vijay Diwas by showing it cared for its war wounded and veterans. On the occasion brave men, who had 'given their today for our tomorrow', limped up to the stage to receive their three-wheeler special scooters. The scooters were given away by Lieutenant General SA Hasnain, GOC Chinar Corps, who preferred to come down from the stage for these gallant soldiers. Earlier, he also presented financial assistance cheques to old J&K Militia soldiers who do not receive any pension from the Government. Paying his compliments to the J&K Militia and JAKLI veterans, Lt Gen Hasnain reiterated, 'The sacrifices made by you for your country will not go in vain. The nation is grateful and you should know it.' Earlier the Centre Commandant, Brigadier Somnath Jha, outlined the various measures of welfare initiatives taken by them for the veterans, war widows or 'Veer Naaris' and serving soldiers of the JAKLI. 'My blood boils when I see what terrorism has done to our State. I am still ready to fight for my country', said 71-year-old veteran soldier Abdul Ghani from Anantnag district. 'My grandson, who is in JAKLI, is doing it on my behalf,' he added.