Pak Army-ISI Must Be Held Accountable For Peace On LoC: General Bikram Singh

Pak Army-ISI Must Be Held Accountable For Peace On LoC: General Bikram Singh

9 October 2013
Times of India
Rajat Pandit

New Delhi: The Pakistani army-ISI combine needs to be made 'accountable' and forced to rein in its continuing 'nefarious' agenda of 'actively supporting' jihadi factories churning out terrorists to wage a covert war against India. 'For peace to return to this region, which is imperative, the Pakistani army has to be made accountable. They (Pakistani army-ISI) must desist from supporting terrorists, who are double-edged weapons and could well inflict serious injuries on them,' said General Bikram Singh, speaking exclusively to TOI on Wednesday. The Army chief said 'we have a lot of information' about Pakistani army's support to the 42 terror-training camps still operational across the border, a day after he directly blamed the General Pervez Kayani-led force for the surge in infiltration bids and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) this year. 'For long, everybody has been talking about peace and normalcy returning to J&K, with various parameters being quoted. This (the surge) is an attempt by the Pakistani army-ISI to vitiate the environment in the Kashmir Valley,' said Gen Singh. India on Tuesday did convey its protest to Pakistan over the hotline between the director-generals of military operations (DGMOs), but no discussion has yet been initiated on the proposed meeting between the two generals - as was agreed in the Manmohan Singh-Nawaz Sharif meeting in New York last month - to reduce tensions along the LoC. The number of ceasefire violations has already crossed over 165 this year - the highest recorded over the last decade. As many as 105 of them have taken place just since August, barely a couple of months after Sharif took over as the PM, leading many to observe the Pakistani army-ISI combine is reasserting its pivotal role on the Kashmir front. Gen Singh said India will have to 'wait-and-watch' how the situation unfolds in Afghanistan after next year's drawdown of US-led coalition forces from there. 'We will have to be vigilant about any fallout that may be detrimental to us,' he said. The Army chief was not defensive about the mismatch between the initial claims by his force and the subsequent 'lack of recoveries' in the 15-day operation conducted in Shala Bhata area of Keran sector in J&K after '30-40 infiltrators' were first detected crossing the LoC on September 24. 'It was a desperate infiltration attempt which was foiled. Eight bodies of terrorists (and 59 weapons) have been found east and west of the operation site (at Shala Bhata),' he said. 'The situation along the LoC is under control. We will maintain its sanctity. Whenever the ceasefire is violated by Pakistan, our troops retaliate adequately. It's very important that the nation have faith in the Army, with the troops on the ground being left alone to do their job,' he added.