Militant infrastructure still intact in PoK: Army
12 January 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Militant infrastructure across the Line of Control in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir was intact which was evident from the recent infiltration bids in Uri sector of Baramulla district, the Army said today. 'Despite confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, militants continue to get support from the other side of Line of Control. This has been proved by the recent infiltration bids in Uri,' General Officer Commanding of the 15 Corps of the Army Lt Gen A S Sekhon told reporters at the Raising Day of the Corps here. The Army commander said as per intelligence reports, terrorist infrastructure like training camps, launching pads and communication hubs were intact across the LoC. However, Lt Gen Sekhon said due to cooperation of the people, the army in coordination with other security forces have achieved many major successes against the militants. The people have been coming forward with information about militants which has led to some major successes. This has helped in conducting surgical operations against the militants, he said. The graph of militancy-related violence in Kashmir valley had come down progressively over the past five years beginning from 2001, he said. Lt Gen Sekhon said the security forces were completely in control of the situation in the Valley despite presence of some active militants. He said the infiltration of militants was on the decline due to various measures, like fencing of the LoC, night vision devices and intensified patrolling, taken over the past three years. Expressing hope that the new year would see the dawn of peace in the State, the Army commander said the security forces would, however, continue to keep up the pressure against militants. On the possibility of demilitarisation in Kashmir, he said it is a policy decision to be taken by the concerned authorities. He also refused comment on a ceasefire with militants. Lt Gen Sekhon said the surrendered youth have realised the futility of engaging in militancy-related activities and were eager to renounce the path of violence. Some of the surrendered militants have told the security forces that while ordinary Kashmiri youth were being discriminated against and viewed with suspicion, the militant leaders were leading lavish lives. The security forces have managed to neutralise 844 militants in the past year which includes 112 youth who have laid down their arms to lead a normal life, he added. Meanwhile, the Raising day of the 15 Corps of the Army was celebrated with traditional fervour at the Badami Bagh cantonment here. Lt Gen Sekhon led the officers and all ranks in laying the wreath at the Corps memorial as a mark of respect to all martyrs of the force who laid down their lives. The 15 Corps was raised before partition at Port Said in Egypt and after independence was given the responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir with its headquarters at Udhampur which was later shifted to Srinagar.