Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road Safe From Terrorists: Army Chief
18 March 2005
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: The Army on Friday asserted all measures have been taken to ensure that Srinagar-Muzzaffarbad road, set to reopen from April 7 in a milestone in Indo-Pak peace process, is not used by terrorists. 'We have given a great deal of thought and chalked out necessary preventive measures to check any such misuse,' Army chief Gen JJ Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function to flag off the Army's women's expedition team to the Mount Everest. He said work was going on at full force to make the road safe for travel before its formal opening with most of the mines, some of them planted during the first Indo-Pak conflict in 1948, having been removed. 'Our engineers are hard on the job. We expect the road to be safe for travel by the due date,' he said. Admitting that the 743-km anti- infiltration fence along the Line of Control had been breached at places, the Army Chief said once the snowfall held off, the Army would repair the damage. Seeking to allay fears that the breaches could be used by terrorists to sneak across once snow starts melting in April, Singh said there were other back up measures to deal with such threats. The Army Chief discounted reports that he planned to enforce six-days-a-week at the Army and command headquarters as a follow-up measure to making officers and men don battle fatigues on Fridays.