June 2017 News

Unprecedented Military Meet In Srinagar Fuels Speculations

2 June 2017
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: Speculations are rife in Valley about a major anti-militancy offensive following the unusual high-profile security meeting in Srinagar involving the Army chief General Bipin Rawat and five of the seven Army commanders including the Vice chief. Though, Army has called the meeting 'routine', some media reports quoting the Army sources have hinted at a plan for a big operation against the militants. Besides, the meeting is also reported to have discussed a shift in the counter-insurgency tactics and a more pro-active strategy to counter the firing from Pakistan along the Line of Control. The two-day meeting concluded on Friday evening. Later General Rawat met Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhavan to inform him about 'the Army Operational Review' undertaken at the meeting. 'Governor and Army Chief discussed several important inter-related internal and external security management issues and the steps required to be taken for more effectively dealing with terrorist activities,' an official statement said. Governor had the opportunity to also meet three Army Commanders and several senior Lt. Generals holding key positions who had participated in the review meeting taken by the Chief. 'The commanders were called to Srinagar because it will be troops and officers at Ground Zero who will ultimately execute the plans by fanning out into the hinterland. Moreover, all commanders have served in Kashmir at some stage, so it makes logistical sense to hold the meet in Srinagar where it will be easier to meet military and other security officials in case of a major operation,' The Deccan Chronicle quoting reliable sources reported. The report said that the venue of the meeting which which was earlier scheduled to be held in New Delhi was moved to Srinagar 'in a display of reassurance to the nation that the Army and other security forces 'are in complete control in the Valley and are committed to safeguarding the country's sovereignty and integrity and also restoring and maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting, the paper wrote quoting sources, was 'to have everyone on the same page and coordinate plans for the movement of men and material in case of an operation 'The idea is to deactivate as many militants as possible, who are already present in the Valley, in the next few months before winter sets in and, meanwhile, thwart all infiltration attempts as we are in a dominant position on the Line of Control,' the sources told the paper adding that Budgam, Kulgam, Traal, Pulwama and Shopian may be the focus area of the operation. On the other hand, a senior Army official has told The Indian Express that the meeting had been organised to create uncertainty in the mind of the adversary.' Following the beheading of two security personnel by a Pakistan Army Border Action Team on the LoC last month, the Pakistani side has been in a state of high alert, fearing an Indian response. Such visits by the military brass are likely to keep them guessing about the Indian Army's plan of action. The meeting is also bound to evoke a response among the local populace in the Valley,' the Army official is quoted to have told the paper.