Cross-Border Infiltration, Militancy On Decline, Says Army Chief

Army chief General M.M. Naravane – File Pic

NEW DELHI -Army Chief General M M Naravane said on Thursday that the pressure built up by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Pakistan was one of the factors behind the decline in cross-border infiltration and the militancy related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to reporters here, Naravane said that militancy related incidents have seen a downturn and the Army is maintaining pressure on militant groups.

“There is an external dimension to the decrease in cross-border infiltration” he said, in oblique reference to the ongoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary.

“If the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) comes down heavily on them, they (Pakistan) may have to rethink on their rhetoric and activities. FATF is a factor in the reduction of militant activities in Kashmir Valley,’’ he added.

Pakistan may have to rethink strategy as even China realised they cannot back their all-weather friend all the time, the Army chief said on the FATF plenary.

A sub-group of the global terror financing watchdog FATF on Tuesday recommended continuation of Pakistan in the ‘Grey List’ for its failure to check militant funding.

“There are at least 15-20 terrorist camps inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir where there are around 250-350 terrorists at any given time and numbers may fluctuate,” the Army Chief said.

He said that Indian armed forces were getting inputs and have been able to foil (Pakistan Army’s) BAT action attempts even before they have been able to launch them.

When asked on the health condition of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the army chief only said security forces are geared up to take care of any situation.

On the proposed creation of a theatre command exclusively for J&K, he said there will be detailed discussions before anything is finalised.

Naravane said the force has been championing gender equality and the Supreme Court order granting permanent commission to women officers will give it a lot of clarity moving forward.

Welcoming Supreme Court’s order that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings, the Army Chief said that Indian Army does not discriminate any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender.

“The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting women officers as early as in 1993,” Gen Naravane added.

Attempts Being Made To Disrupt Peace: DGP

The Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh said on Thursday that the security forces need to me more vigilant as militants and elements across the border were making continuous attempts to disrupt peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There is a need to be more vigilant and cautious in view of the possibility of militants attempting to disrupt the existing peace in J&K. Continuous attempts are being made by elements across the border to create trouble here,” DGP said while addressing a joint security review meeting with Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, the advisor to Lt. Governor of J&K, in south Kashmir today.

The DGP, while addressing the meeting, complimented the police personnel, security forces and intelligence agencies for achieving highest degree of synergy and coordination and efficiently handling the internal security situation in south Kashmir.

Bhatnagar reiterated the vital importance of maintaining a close watch on the inimical elements and stressed on the need to maintain real-time coordination between the different security agencies.

He also appreciated the J&K Police and other forces in maintaining peace and stability in south Kashmir.

The advisor asked the officers to enhance their investigation skills on modern lines and also laid stress on the preventive measures to minimise crime rate.

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