Army Supports Rehab Policy

Army Supports Rehab Policy

30 December 2010
Rising Kashmir
Shabir Dar

Udhampur: A day before his retirement, army’s Northern Command Chief, Lt Gen B S Jaswal said Army not only favoured the surrender policy of the state government, but was also very much involved in its formulation even as he maintained that AFSPA was a “must” for the functioning of troopers in Jammu and Kashmir. “Army was very much involved in formulating of the surrender policy. The policy is a very important instrument if we want to win over the militancy in the state. The policy will succeed as the nation is behind the genuineness of the policy,” Jaswal told reporters here during a press briefing. He said army was in favour of rehabilitation policy announced by government for the youth who had crossed LoC for arms training to Pakistan and the other Kashmir. Jaswal, who is retiring from his 40-year army service on Friday, reiterated that Armed Forces Special Forces Act (AFPSA) was a “must” for the functioning of troopers in the state. 'AFSPA is a must as far as functioning of security forces is concerned,” he said. Pertinently, the Cabinet Committee on Security is meeting in next few days at New Delhi to discuss the proposal of amendment to the controversial Act. 'I have time and again spoken on this issue. Our chief has spoken on it and also Ministry of Defence has spoken on it and cleared their stand,' he said. Jaswal said the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir was remote from being normal. He said the security situation has both internal and external dimensions. “As far as external security situation is concerned it is quiet normal. The internal security in South of Pir Panchal is also normal. But in North of Pir Panchal, a dynamic situation has emerged. Militants and their handlers in Pakistan have switched to a different strategy, which I had rightly described as agitational terrorism,” Northern Command chief said. He blamed Pakistan for ‘agitational terrorism’ in Kashmir. “We have intercepts that stone-pelting terrorism was guided and directed from the soil of Pakistan and there is no doubt in that,” he said. Last year (October 31, 2009) during a press briefing, Jaswal has said that ‘agitational terrorism’ in the state and not militancy was an issue of concern for the armed forces. The remark had evoked strong opposition in the valley. The senior army official maintained that there was decrease in infiltration bids from across the border this year, while as ceasefire violations by Pakistan Rangers across Indo-Pak border had also increased. “Ceasefire violations have increased. As compared to last year’s 28 violations, this year there were 43 violations. But the alertness and prompt action by our troops on borders have thwarted the designs of militants to infiltrate on our side. That is why as compared to last year’s 110 reported infiltrations there were only 92 this year,” he said. About the number of militants operating in the state, the army general said 60 per cent of the militants operating in the state were foreigners while the rest were locals. About the incursion attempts by Chinese forces along the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh, Jaswal said, “It is a transgression not incursion.” He said that 43 “transgressions” have taken place this year. On China’s refusal to issue him the visa, Jaswal said he had no regrets for that. “The trip was planned by the government and when I was not given the permission, I had no regrets,” he said. On a question about the threat perception from China, Jaswal said, “Perception of threat is an ongoing process. Our country has good relations with China and the CBMs between the two countries have improved the relations.”


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