Kashmir Situation ‘Progressively Improving’: Army Commander

SRINAGAR: The Army on Tuesday said that the overall situation in Kashmir was “progressively improving”.

Addressing the Northern Command Investiture Ceremony here, General officer Commanding in Chief Lt General Upendra Dwivedi also said that the army was ready to give a befitting response to any Chinese aggression in Ladakh and that Kashmir has witnessed a “concerning rise” in narco-militancy with “Pakistan now using this as a new tool in its proxy war.”

“Northern Command is in a high state of readiness and morale, to face constantly evolving threats and challenges,” news agency GNS quoted General officer Commanding in Chief Lt General Upendra Dwivedi as having said. “The security situation in Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh poses many challenges in terrain and operational dynamics, especially from different adversaries along the Northern and Western Borders,” he said, adding, “We are committed to defending India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while upholding the democratic traditions of the Nation.” He said the army was maintaining a constant vigil, monitoring all developments and “will take all necessary steps to protect our National Interests.”

“Indian Army is prepared to meet any challenges in the future and will always work for the betterment of the people of the Region,” he said, adding, “The last two years have brought to the fore newer challenges in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, the Galwan conflict and multiple waves of COVID-19. These challenges have only served to strengthen our resolve to be steadfast and determined in our commitment.”

He said the situation along the Line of Control has remained stable and the ceasefire understanding with Pakistan continues to sustain. “A very strict vigil and a robust technology enabled multi-tiered counter infiltration grid is being maintained, to thwart any attempts at infiltration,” he said, adding, “ceasefire violations, infiltration bids or any other misadventure attempted by the adversary will be dealt with firmly.” He said numerous infiltration bids have been foiled in the last year. “The highest standards of professionalism and jointness displayed by the troops in all dimensions of Counter (militancy) Operations has nullified/ limited the kinetic threat.”

He said Kashmir has witnessed a concerning rise in narco-militancy “as Pakistan is now using this as a new tool in its proxy war.”

“Of late, a dual strategy of sending across drugs as well as weapons through drones is being employed to keep the fire burning in an attempt to disrupt the social fabric,” he said, adding, “The cross-border smuggling of narcotics provides a succor to (militancy). The Security Forces are alive to this trend and have already initiated counter drone measures to curb the menace.”

He said army’s focus continues to reinforce intelligence setup by synergising with all stakeholders and sister agencies, to usher in peace and undertake developmental activities. “The overall situation is progressively improving and a positive and conducive environment for accelerating the developmental initiatives of the government has been created,” he said, adding, “ The dividends of peace and stability are reaching people in far flung areas and they are participating wholeheartedly to preserve and sustain this peace.”

On the LAC, he said, army’s response to Chinese attempts to “unilaterally change the status quo” was a swift, undaunted and synergised action. “Any adverse aggressive designs or attempts will definitely be met with appropriate posturing of Forces and a strong intent with complete synergy amongst the three services,” he said, adding, “Measures to resolve the LAC situation at diplomatic and operational levels are also simultaneously underway. I assure you that the LAC in Eastern Ladakh is being dominated by physical patrolling and through technical means and our territorial integrity is being ensured”.

Besides the operational challenges on the LAC, line of control and hinterland, he said, army remain committed to providing succor in times of natural disasters such as landslides, COVID and other natural calamities. “I also take this opportunity to laud the efforts of the COVID warriors whose relentless efforts have kept us protected in these testing times,” he said, adding, “Needless to say, that “there is nothing nobler than reaching out and alleviating the lives of people”. On an annual basis, he said, over 250 medical and 100 veterinary camps are conducted in the remotest areas of the UTs, which benefit thousands of lives and livestock. “We are encouraging and facilitating graziers to move to their traditional grazing areas in Eastern Ladakh including those located close to the LAC.”


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