Army chief reviews situation in J&K15 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU-NEW DELHI: Army chief Gen V K Singh today reviewed security situation at the Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur along with senior Army officers. Gen Singh, who reached Udhampur based Northern Command Headquarters of the Army this morning on a two days visit, met top brass of the Army and reviewed with them the security situation across the State as well along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB). He was briefed by the Army officers including GoC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen K T Parnaik about the situation in general areas as well as the borders including the killing of top commanders of the militants at Banihal recently. The Army chief was also apprised about the steps being taken by the troops to neutralize the threat of militancy. Gen Singh is also understood to have discussed the Union Home Ministry's decision to withdraw 10,000 para-military personnel from the State. Later, the Army chief along with his wife Bharti Singh paid a visit to holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji and offered prayers. The Army chief and his wife had aarti darshan at the holy cave shrine this evening. They returned by battery car up to Adh Kunwari and Katra by foot. The Army chief will have a night halt at Nagrota. He was expected to visit Kashmir tomorrow if the weather behaved to review security situation, counter-terrorism and counter-infiltration measures. Meanwhile, Gen Singh has said India wants to solve all its disputes with Pakistan. 'We have always said that all our issues with Pakistan, should be resolved. Pakistan should not think we want any part of their country or that we want to impose anything on them. We just want them to live and let us also live happily,' General Singh said in an interview to a news channel. On whether India was concerned with the growing relations between Pakistan and China, he said, 'Well, every country has the right to develop close ties with other countries. However, we are keeping a close watch on the developments.' He also refuted the view that India was afraid of China. 'Our Army is not weak. We are not living in the year 1972 but in 2011. I trust my Army.' Expressing concern over continuing terrorism from across the border, the Army chief said, 'Terrorism is a very big problem, especially for India. It is a universal problem. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has also expressed his concern over it.' On the proposal to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, Gen Singh, while stating that the matter was under Government consideration, however, asserted that the Army had not done anything wrong. 'There has been a lot of discussion on the issue. Right now, it is with the Government and I would not like to say much on it except that it (AFSPA) was enforced with some objective. I would like to tell you that those people opposing it, do it for their personal interest. 'It is only 3.7 per cent things, which have been taken into consideration. And the whole investigation is done and many times it is done to give a bad name to the Army. And its the speciality of our Army that we don't do anything wrong,' Gen Singh asserted. On the corruption scandal plaguing the Army, he said, 'In every system, one faces problems. But I hate corruption and when things are wrong, I always make them happen in the right manner - the way it should be.' He claimed the Indian Army was an idol for Armed forces of several countries in the world, which was why they wanted to come and study the working of the Armed forces. 'We have more of practical experience, plus we have fought four wars,' he added. PTI adds from Yol Camp, HP- The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has come to a 'satisfactory' level and the number of militants operating in the State has fallen by half in the past few years, the Army said today. 'The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has come to a satisfactory level. The number of militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir has decreased to 400 from 800-900 in the past few years,' General Officer Commanding (GOC), 9 Corps, Lieutenant General A K Choudhary told reporters here. He said that infiltration is down. 'Infiltration attempts and number of militants entering J&K has come down,' Choudhary said. He said that several measures including three tier fencing have been put in place to check cross-border infiltration. To a question about troops withdrawal in J&K, he said that there is a need to take a holistic view on the issue. The Unified Headquarter - the highest security assessment panel in J&K - will assess and take a decision in this regard, he said. 'When the security environment improves further, there should be less visibility of forces,' he said. Referring to ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, he said recently three such violations have been reported along the Indo-Pak border. 'The BSF has done a commendable job by thwarting attempts of militants to infiltrate to this side from Pakistan,' he said.