Security Situation ‘Fragile’ Along LoC: Army

SRINAGAR — There has been no change in militant infrastructure across the Line of Control after Imran Khan took charge as Pakistan prime minister, the Indian Army said on Wednesday and termed as “fragile” the security situation along the LoC due to continuous attempts by Pakistan to push infiltrators into Jammu and Kashmir.

General Officer commanding in chief (GoC-in-C), Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh also said that a winter strategy will be put in place along the LoC and other areas in J-K to ensure militants do not succeed in their designs.

Replying to questions on controversial remarks by politicians on killing of PhD scholar turned militant Manan Wani and radicalisation among educated youths, he said while the Army is “cognizant of ground realities”, the force “does not get perturbed” by statements “politicising or non-politicising” militancy related incidents and remains focussed on the task entrusted to it.

“The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is under control. However, the situation remains fragile (along LoC), because of the attempts by Pakistan to be able to continue to push infiltrators into the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Lt Gen Ranbir Singh told PTI in reply to a question about security situation along border and hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked whether there has been any thinning of militant infrastructure following Imran Khan taking charge as Pakistan prime minister in mid-August, Lt Gen Singh said, “As per inputs available with us, there is no change in the militant infrastructure across the LoC in PoK”.

The commander said that the Army keeps receiving several reports of attempts of infiltration by Pakistan-trained militants into the country.

“Our counter infiltration grid at LoC and various tiers of the grid, right up to hinterland, is very effective. It is because of that, over at period of time, we have been able to neutralised a large number of militants who have been trying to infiltrate,” he said.

The Army commander, who was here to take part in the first paragliding competition at Bir Billing mountainous belt, said that as far security situation in the hinterland is concerned, “it is under control”.

“There are occasions when some kind of movement of militants is reported. But it is to the credit of security forces that we have been able to ensure a relatively peaceful urban local bodies elections that concluded just recently.

“We are prepared for panchayat elections which are likely to start soon,” he said.

On the winter strategy, Lt Gen Singh said that with the start of snowfall, the force has to bring change in its deployment and working. “This year also we are bringing change in deployment,” he said.

“Indian Army is alert and is ready to give befitting reply to any action of enemy,” he added.

On the killing of Wani in an encounter in Kupwara last week, the Army commander said that he was a student at Aligarh Muslim University and the Army “is fully cognizant of the ground realities”.

“I interact with a wide spectrum of youth, elders and various opinion makers in Jammu and Kashmir. There is a lot of potential in the youth of J-K and Army’s efforts are always towards harnessing these energies and efforts towards good of the state,” the Army commander said.

There will always be such statements which are made off and on, “but for armed forces, we do not get perturbed by any politicising and non-politicising of such issues as long as we remain focused and as long as we do not get carried away by the pretext of any incident.I wish to say with pride that Indian armed forces continue with the task irrespective of challenges of such types,” he said.

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