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Envoys briefed on Jammu & Kashmir terror threat

Army informs visiting foreign diplomats that security indicators have improved in UT but terrorists still retain ability to strike as Pakistan-sponsored elements don’t want grassroots democracy in J&K

The Indian Army on Thursday informed the visiting delegation of foreign diplomats that the security indicators have improved in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, but the terrorists still retain the ability to strike.

The Army also said while the grassroots politics is taking root, the terror organisations’ effort to target political workers is a cause of worry.

“It is a clear message that Pakistan-sponsored elements do not want a change in the status quo. Any activity that leads to normalisation of the situation is opposed,” the Army said.

The interaction between the Army officers and the members of the foreign delegation took place in the Badami Bagh Cantonment, headquarters of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps before the envoys headed to Jammu.

General Officer in Command of the Chinar Corps Lt General BS Raju, Kashmir range Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar along with other senior Army and police officers were present during the interaction.

The envoys were briefed by the police and Army representatives on the ground situation at the Line of Control and in the hinterland.

The visiting delegation was also informed that the security forces in Kashmir valley managed to neutralise several top terrorist commanders last year without suffering any major collateral damage. The killing of the tanzeem leaders has resulted in a more secure environment in the region.

The police briefing included an update on the efforts on “mainstreaming the youth” and “policing under Covid 19 challenges”.

On being asked about the status of various terror organisations, the Corps Commander said that overall the security indicators have improved, but the terrorists still retain the ability to carry out terror acts.

He further explained that despite the number of estimated terrorists in the UT coming down to nearly 200, the counter terror operations still require a grid deployment to ensure security to the citizens.

International experiences including in Afghanistan prove the need for boots on ground in counter terror operations, Lt General BS Raju added. The Corps Commander also drew attention to the propaganda efforts of Pakistan and the separatists, he shared that Kashmiri citizens have seen through the lies of the cross-border propaganda and are choosing to ignore it. On being queried about de-radicalisation efforts, the Corps Commander shared that the principal supporters in such efforts are the parents, society elders and friends who help in the identification of youth vulnerable to radical ideology. A joint civil society and Government effort is made to counsel and support such an identified youth. The visiting envoys expressed satisfaction at the soft policing being attempted in J&K.

On being queried about the role of NGOs in supporting the Government efforts, the Corps Commander shared that many local and national NGOs are helping in Government effort in J&K, these are in diverse fields including drug abuse, women empowerment and skilling of the youth. The national NGOs bring in skills, technology and help in building cross-regional linkages, which would prove invaluable in the long term.

In Jammu, the visiting delegation first met Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court Justice Pankaj Mithal and later they were hosted by the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan.

Senior bureaucrats were also present during the meeting. In his opening remarks Lt-Gov Manoj Sinha said, “Years of suffering for J&K people ended on August 5, 2019. Efforts of the Prime Minister ushered the UT in a new era of socio-economic development and empowerment of the people”.

Sinha said, “We are investing more than ever before in infrastructure, industries, education, healthcare, skill development, sustainable livelihood so that every citizen of Jammu & Kashmir has a safe future and earn recognition.”

LG Manoj Sinha also informed that targeted solutions have been devised to address the issues like poverty, health, skill development of youth, job opportunities and concrete steps are being taken to ensure that benefits of Government schemes reach the last mile.

Friday, 19 February 2021 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

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