'Training Camps Across Border Exist'
29 August 2005
The Indian Express
Jammu: Amid secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan at Delhi, where terrorism is a major issue, Army here today said there were tangible evidence of cross-border terrorism and training camps across the border. Addressing a press conference here today, outgoing GOC-in-C of Northern Command Lt Gen Hari Prasad said there are a number of training camps across the border. 'We have solid evidence of it,' said the GOC-in-C. Describing the present militancy in J&K as 'low-cost', he said it was not high-profile terrorism. However, he said terrorism has reduced tremendously. 'Peace is round the corner,' added Lt Gen Prasad. When asked about the spurt in terrorist-related violence in recent weeks, he said increase in the level of violence shows the desperation among the militants. 'They want to show their presence and these incidents are an indication of their frustration. I do not even describe it as terrorism, but heinous crimes committed by them,' said Lt Gen Hari Prasad. Talking about his term as GOC-in-C of the Northern Command, he said he had a dream to see the end of terrorism before his retirement. 'I saw the start of insurgency in the state. It was a challenging war as GOC-in- C and I am happy that today we see a smile on the faces of people in the state,' he said. He said they worked on three lines. 'One is that there should be no infiltration, misguided youth should come to the mainstream and Army and awam should become closer,' said the Army commander. Lt Gen Hari Prasad said in order to meet the challenge of unabated cross-border firing, infiltration and continued terrorist activity in the hinterland, a three-pronged strategy involving prevention of infiltration from across the border, decimation of terrorists in the hinterland and rehabilitation of the awaam through grassroots development was evolved. Lt Gen Prasad said the strategically imperative task of fencing about 700 km of the LoC under enemy fire and in snow was completed in record time, which is yielding excellent results. 'The efforts gained tremendous momentum due to the support from the people. Security forces have now gained complete ascendancy on terrorists. It is also a fact that even the smallest case of human rights violations is not condoned and justice is swift and ruthless against the few offenders,' said the outgoing GOC-in-C. He said opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road has opened new vistas for Indo-Pak cooperation. 'Greater people-to-people contact, enlarged economic activity and confidence-building measures will usher in greater trust between the two countries,' he said. The Army commander on this occasion extended his gratitude to Governor Lt Gen S.K. Sinha (retd), Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, the state administration, police and people of J&K for their support during his tenure. 'Together, the Army and the people have demonstrated a resolve to move on the path of development and progress of the state,' said the GOC-in-C.