Top Security Brass Reviews Kashmir Situation

Srinagar: Asserting that the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) has improved the security situation along the border, the Core Group, comprising top army commanders, police and civil administration officers said on Tuesday that there were indications of heightened activity around launch pads and militant training camps in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in last two months.

According to a defence ministry spokesperson, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Chinar Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General Police, Dilbag Singh, co-chaired a meeting of the Core Group at Badami Bagh Cantonment here to review the security situation in Kashmir.

The officials, he said, shared inputs about the Line of Control and hinterland security situation and stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of militant launch pads and militant training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control.

“There are indications of heightened activity in last two months. The cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons continues to be focus of the intelligence agencies and security forces. This included continued vigil and checks on all passes leading to Kashmir valley,” the spokesperson said.

“Review of violence indicators of first six months of the year show an improvement in all security parameters. There is a joint security forces effort at targeting the OGW network that sustains militancy and focused efforts by the police have led to the apprehension of nearly 400 such persons,” he added.

The meeting, he said, also stated that the local recruitment, though lower than previous years, continues to be the focus area of the security and intelligence agencies.

“The effort is to engage with the vulnerable youth and target the OGW network engaged in the recruitment process. The recruitment is higher in some pockets where synergised counter actions are being executed,” he said.

The spokesperson said that the officials shared continued focus on vehicles of dubious antecedents as they are used for transportation of arms and contraband, and also can be used for Vehicle Based IEDs.

“The efforts of some tanzeems to use a variety of IEDs are being proactively countered. Reports of encroachments along the national highway are being checked as these can cause security threat to the convoy movement on the highways,” he said, adding “The officials discussed the issue of criminal acts being done under the garb of a militant attack and the need to differentiate between a militant attack and criminal attack. The shift of militants' modus operandi in targeting soft targets and counter measures were also discussed,”

The Divisional Commissioner, as per the defence ministry spokesperson shared details of development activities underway and the efforts to energies and operationalize the grassroot democratic structure.

“He shared the plans for youth engagement which included the plans to set up youth centers in all districts, down to panchayat level,” he added.

The spokesperson further said that the officials deliberated on the propaganda effort by Pakistan and their antagonistic information warfare tactics.

“Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimize killing of Kashmiri civilians by the militants. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort,” he said.

He further said that the DGP and Corps Commander commended the officials present for the improved security indicators. He said that a special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite risk to own soldiers.

“They called upon all to continue efforts at better intelligence, better preventive security measures and effective intelligence based counter militancy operations. They called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long term peace in Kashmir,” the defence ministry spokesperson said.

He further said that the core group also discussed the satisfactory handling of COVID-19 in Kashmir.

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