Not Enough Army Present In Valley: Lt Gen Hasnain3 April 2011
Handwara: General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps, Lt Gen Syed Atta Hasnain, Sunday said that no problem in the world, which involves people, can be resolved militarily. “No problem in the world involving people can be solved militarily. But military has a role to stabilize environment. I don’t think the state, the Indian Union, has ever looked upon this situation as if it can be resolved militarily. India has always felt that the army and the military is here to stabilise the turbulence and there after it has to be a political solution,” he said, speaking to media persons on the sidelines of his public interaction in this north Kashmir town. The GOC said after next two weeks, their focus would be to ensure zero infiltration while different programmes have been formed to separate militants from public. “This is being done to neutralize residential militancy,” he said. “Everybody has his own programme of perception management to win hearts and minds of people. We want to ensure that public remains with us. We want to increase confidence in public and are hopeful that by this year we will completely eliminate militancy.” He said at the Human Resource Development Centre at Army’’s Srinagar-based headquarter, officers and soldiers are learning Kashmiri language. “There are many soldiers who are learning Kashmiri language. It will help us in reaching out to the people. What we are trying to do is to make extra efforts to reach out to them,” Hasnain said. He said Army looks at security from a comprehensive angle and “not only through military angle.” “People are supposed to be the centre of gravity and it can become your strength or weakness. We have come to the stage where from we need to take next step. I think it is very important that we should win people,” he said. In response to a question on the Director General of Police’s statement that there has been 45 percent drop in militancy, Hasnain said Army doesn’t view situation through statistics. “Normally in the Army, we don’t see these problems in statistical terms. We see an environment. It is not important whether it is 30, 40 or 50 percent. Yes there has been drop in militancy, but as far as the situation is concerned, it is the same. We are aware that militant camps are filled on the other side. If there has been no difference in that, how did militancy drop in the Valley? Militancy percentage might have dropped, but situation hasn’t changed. There are possibilities of increase in militancy if Army is not professional and strengthened to tackle infiltration,” he said. The GOC said their focus during anti-militancy operations is that people should not suffer collateral damage. “Our focus is that people should have minimum side effects during operations and we have been successful during the past few months,” he said. He said the presence of Army is needed in Kashmir as there is an existential border threat. “Army’s role is primarily on the border of India,” he said. Hasnain said there is “not enough” Army presence in the Valley and hence the armed forces could not be sent to Naxal-affected regions of India. “The whole problem of Naxalism is in central India, it is not on the border of India. And the Army’s role is primarily on the border of India,” he said when asked why the force is not joining in operations against the Maoists. About the internal inquiry ordered into the killing in youth in Handwara recently, he said Army has completed it. He however refused to comment on the Commission of Inquiry in Machil fake encounter killings, saying the matter is in court. About the failure of mini-hydel projects, he said that operation Sadhbhavana has clear cut guidelines that projects executed by Army are handed over to civil administration for the maintenance. “The first hydel project was executed by me in Uri and it was successful and later this project was taken on mass scale here. Their maintenance is very difficult. Many of the projects have outlived their utility and they have not gone waste. May be the civil administration couldn’t do their maintenance as they are lying in far flung areas,” he said. On the occasion, General Hasnain announced adoption of Gulistan-e-Bannat, an organization working for orphans, by 15 Corps. He said Army and state administration will launch Kashmir Premier League both for cricket and Football in April. “We will nurture local talent and after screening of aspirants, they will be sent to the best National Academies, duly sponsored by Army. I want to see at least one player in the national team next year,” he added.