Reducing forces level in J&K is inadvisable: Lt. General (retd.) Jacob

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KL Desk
Srinagar

When chief minister Omar Abdullah is demanding AFSPA withdrawal from certain areas of the state and expressing his determination to continue with the process and make it reality, the Army is of the view that there should be no move to reduce the number of troops deployed in the state, as it might lead to problems for the government forces engaged in counter militant operations.

Lt General (retd.) JFR Jacob, has advised the government not to move troops from J&K over recent demands from politicians to reduce the force levels.

“It is absolutely inadvisable to reduce force levels in Jammu and Kashmir. Do we want to handover the state to terrorists and separatists,” he asked.

In the last one year, there has not been much of violence in the state and militant-related incidents have gone considerably down.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has repeatedly said that there should be more progress on the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas of his state.

Jacob has conveyed the Central Government not to move the forces. “You cannot move forces from Jammu and Kashmir as so many terrorists are waiting on the other side of the border to cross over to India”.

Talking about state of security level and preparations of the Army to defend the Northeast region, he said, “We unfortunately are still World War II oriented army. We do not have sufficient forces in the northeast. We have enough forces just to hold our positions, but we need more forces having strike capability”. He added, “We also lack adequate reserves without which we cannot fight a war. We need to build the infrastructure in the north east region and make our forces mobile.”

Lt. General Jacob was the Chief of Staff, Eastern Command, during the 1971 war and took many operational decisions at his own risk, despite differences with seniors. He was the mastermind of implementing the surrender program by the Pakistan Army led by Lt. General Niazi, who headed the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army then.

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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