Inadvisable to reduce force levels in Kashmir: Gen Jacob

New Delhi – Lt. General (retd.) J.F.R. Jacob, the main architect of the 1971 India-Pakistan war over Bangladesh, has advised the government not to move troops from troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir over recent demands from politicians to reduce the force levels in the militancy hit state.

The Indian Army is also 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 security forces engaged in counter terrorist operations for over two decades.

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

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has time and again said that there should have been more progress on the issue of withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas of his state, and expressed his determination to continue with the process and make it a reality.

Lt. General J.F.R. Jacob, who was Governor of Goa and Punjab, asked the Central Government not to move the forces.

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

“You cannot move from Jammu and Kashmir as so many terrorists are waiting on the other side of the border to cross over to India,” General Jacob said.

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 no have sufficient forces in the northeast. We have enough forces just to hold our positions, but we need more forces having strike capability.

“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 programme by the Pakistan Army led by Lt. General Niazi, who headed the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army then. Agencies

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