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Army: turbulence in Afghanistan to have impact on J&K

News18

Updated: March 17, 2011, 4:31 PM IST
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Army: turbulence in Afghanistan to have impact on J&K
State of militancy is not based on the number of militants present in an area.

Pattan: Noting that turbulence in Afghanistan and Pakistan will have an impact on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Army on Thursday said that 700 militants were waiting at various lauchpads to infiltrate into the state.

"India, Kashmir and Pakistan are all at the peripheries of the problem area of Afghanistan. So if peace does not exist in Afghanistan and there is turbulence in Pakistan, obviously there will be turbulence around us," General Officer Command (GOC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt General S A Hasnain told reporters here, 30 kms from capital Srinagar.

Lt Gen Hasnain was replying to a question about the impact on Kashmir after the US forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

"The problem is always that of turbulence. An area that is turbulent will always send waves of turbulence into the other areas," he said.

He said the Army has reports that militants across the Line of Control (LoC) will attempt to infiltrate into the state in the next few days.

"Snow is melting fast and we have recieved reports that there is concentration (of militants) at the training camps and lauching pads (on the other side) again," Lt Gen Hasnain said. He, however, said the counter-infiltration grid of the Army is strong and any attempt by the militants to cross into the region will be foiled.

"I want to assure you that counter-infiltration grid is strong and we have sophisticated survaillance devices. I am hopeful that there will be no infiltration," he said.

"Our assessment is that there were about 600-700 militants at all the lauchpads (on the other side of LoC) across the Kashmir, they even attempted to infiltrate but they were not successful," he added.

Lt Gen Hasnain said state of militancy is not based on the number of militants present in an area.

"Until they have the capacity to infiltrate and there is the intent, militancy is present here," he said.

About the rise in encounters with militants in the last few weeks, Hasnain said counter-militancy operation will continue throughout this year without inflicting any collateral damage.

"I am hopeful the number (of militants) will decline by the end of this year," the GOC said.

He said the Army has maintained deployment in the higher reaches of northern areas and did not retreat in the wake of heavy snowfall in the region.

"We have taken the risk to a certain limit and deployed the jawans there where they were not few years ago. That is why our counter-infiltration grid is stronger," he said.

Hasnain said there is lot of debate that "Jasmine revolution" of Egypt and Tunisia is an example for the people of the rest of the world to follow and attain their aims.

"What is happening in the Middle-East is primarily for attainment of democracy, but democracy in India is 64-year-old and democracy in Kashmir is as old as democracy in India. So applying that model to Kashmir is essentially flawed" he said.

He said that state government, police and the army are all on the same page that they do not want to have a kind of summer that was last year.

First Published: March 17, 2011, 4:31 PM IST
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