Burhan, Associates Enjoy Public Support: GOC

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SRINAGAR: Admitting that Hizbul Mujahideen Divisional Commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani and his associates enjoy local support, the army’s 15 Chinar Corps Commander Lt General SK Dua called the new local militant recruits as “our children” and said they have been “misguided”.

Talking to reporters during a media interaction at Badami Bagh cantonment, the army commander said that it becomes difficult for forces to carry out operations against the militants in Tral and other adjoining areas as these militants enjoy local support and mix-up with local population.

He said that the army doesn’t want to harm the local people. “We don’t want any collateral damage. People are our first priority,” he said.

He said that though there has been recruitment of militants in South Kashmir but some boys have also come back.

The GOC said that the militants across the border are desperate to sneak into this side. He claimed that there are number of launch pads and training camps located in Pakistan and hundreds of militants are waiting to sneak into this side of the Kashmir. “However, our counter-infiltration grid is strong and robust and we have foiled all their attempts,” he said.

Ruling out pull-out of troops from the Valley as of now, he said that the situation is not ripe for the demilitarization. “If we pull-out troops at this moment, the elements inimical to peace would fill the gap,” he said. He said the situation in Valley has been brought down to manageable level with persistent efforts of army and other forces.

The GOC said that the army has zero-tolerance for the human rights’ violation. He said that the soldiers have been directed not to resort to any rights’ violations. “They carry a booklet in their pockets regarding dos and don’ts during operations,” he said.   (GNS)

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