April 2018 News

Army Conference Focuses On Radicalisation

21 April 2018
The Pioneer

Srinagar: The current situation in Jammu & Kashmir especially radicalisation of youth and strategy to conduct counter-terrorist operations in the State with minimum collateral damage were the focus of the Army Commanders Conference. The four-day conclave which ends on Saturday also reviewed the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) and at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) facing China. With Pakistan relentlessly resorting to ceasefire violations on the LoC, the commanders analysed the operational preparedness to deal with any challenge, Director General Staff Duties Lt General AK Sharma said here on Friday while giving details of the issues figuring the in the bi-annual conference. The common refrain of the meeting was that radicalised youth in Kashmir must be brought into the mainstream by carrying out deradicalisation and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture, he said. This comes in the backdrop 126 youth including high educated ones joining terrorist organisations last year. Also, two Army jawans from Shopian jumped the fence and joined terror ranks in the last six to seven months including an ace Ghatak commando. The trend of youth picking up the gun gained momentum following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016. Kashmir Valley then witnessed unrest due to mass protests for nearly five months with nearly 90 youths joining the militant groups. As regards situation on the 750-km long LoC, Sharma said the commanders took stock of the 'adequacy of the response mechanisms'. More than 650 violations by the Pakistan Army had taken place so far in South and North of Pir Panjal. While South comprises Poonch and Rajouri, North includes Kashmir Valley and its districts on the LoC. While firing by Pakistan on Indian posts in Poonch and Rajhouri was meant to dominate the LoC, ceasefire violations in North of Pir Panjal were done with aim to enable terrorists to infiltrate by giving them cover fire. In fact, infiltration bids in North Kashmir will now pick up as snow has completely melted thereby opening up the ingress routes for the terrorists to sneak in. As China continues to ramp up its infrastructure on its side of the LAC, the commanders deliberated at length capacity building endeavours to maintain logistical lines for the troops posted on the front. The top echelon reviewed the status of construction of all weather roads and bridges in the remote regions of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. Measures to enhance cyber security and military establishments also came up for discussion. Terrorists have attacked Army camps in the last few years and the Government set up a committee two years back to recommend steps to plug the loopholes. The commanders in the ongoing meeting reviewed progress made on this issue, Sharma said.