Pillai Did Not Mean Army: Gen Singh15 January 2011
New Delhi: A day after his comments which were seen as countering Home Secretary on troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General V K Singh Saturday clarified that he was talking about the Army personnel while G K Pillai was referring to paramilitary forces. “I think there was some confusion. What Pillai said was concerning the Paramilitary forces. What I was talking of was Army,” he told reporters here seeking to clear the perception that the two were talking in different voices. He said no person from Home Ministry will say about Army as it is under the purview of the Defence Ministry. “I am quite sure that the Home Secretary knows about it and talk only about the Paramilitary forces only,” Singh said. Pillai yesterday said the government was planning 25 per cent cut in troops in Kashmir. Hours later, the Army Chief said, “We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our forces. If they want to cut down para-military and police forces, I won’t say anything...” The Army chief today noted that any decisions regarding reduction of Army strength in the valley would be taken by the Unified Headquarters (UHQ), which is headed by the State Chief Minister. “Where they (Home Ministry) want to take out people, it is up to them. Whatever input is required, it will be provided by the UHQ. I have got no conflict or argument with anybody on this issue,” he said, adding “So far as the Army is concerned, I am quite convinced as what the Army is supposed to do.” Talking to All India Radio, General Singh said infiltration attempts from across the border were still there but it has come down significantly after border fencing and other devices were put up on the Line of Control (LoC) - that divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries. “Large numbers of people get killed while infiltrating. Some, who have managed to come inside, we get after them. Situation as of now appears to be reasonably better than what it was, let us say, four to five or six months back,' he said. He said if the state government handled the situation 'on the economic, on the social, on the governance well, then things will start looking even much better'. 'After all, it is the people who make a difference. So, if people are happy, people are satisfied, they have got employment, they have got food, they have the faith in the government of the day, then you will find they will give information of anybody who is creating trouble or trying to disrupt the harmony in the state. 'So, I think the situation will improve. And we are already seeing the signs where things seem to be,” he added.