Sheeri : Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said 2014 would be full of challenges for Army and other forces in the state, but maintained that he was not “worried” about the impact of US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“This year will be full of challenges but I am not among those who are worried. I know there are some people who are scared about 2014 in view of the upcoming events in Afghanistan as they are of the view that it (withdrawal of US troops) will have a direct impact on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Omar said here, 70 kms from Srinagar.
Addressing a passing-out parade of 789 recruits of Jammu and Kashmir Police at the Subsidiary Training Centre, the Chief Minister said he was of the opinion that the major and important role in the successes achieved in normalisation of the situation in the state “was played by us”.
“If I think that whatever happens in Afghanistan will have an impact on Jammu and Kashmir, it means what we have achieved till now has nothing to do with us. Does it mean the deployment of brave soldiers and officers on the Line of Control to stop infiltration and counter-insurgency grid and the work done by police and intelligence agencies on the ground have not yielded positive results? It will be wrong to say that,” he said.
Omar said, “If today after 25 years the situation has improved, it is because we have successfully controlled infiltration along the LoC and border. It is also the result of an effective counter insurgency grid that we have been able to suppress militant activities by targeting their leadership.”
‘Hopeful of peaceful elections’
The improvement in the situation was also because the people of the state were desirous of peace and wanted to get rid of the gun, the Chief Minister said.
“There is a challenge of (holding peaceful) parliamentary and assembly elections this year. I am of the belief that the way assembly elections were held six years ago and then parliamentary elections five years ago in a peaceful atmosphere will be repeated again,” Omar said.
The Chief Minister said the army, paramilitary forces and police would take every step to ensure that the voters in all the three regions exercised their franchise without any fear.
‘Not an easy year’
“Omar said 2013 was not an easy year for the forces. “There was a sudden increase in the casualties of security forces last year which otherwise was on a decline for the past few years. We have to stop this trend this year.
Probably, the forces you are fighting against were under the wrong impression that the casualties will weaken your morale but such thing did not happen,” he said.
“The successes we have achieved during the current year – whether in south, north or central Kashmir – is a proof that there was no negative impact on your morale and in fact the spurt in attacks have boosted your determination to root out militancy,” he added.
Asserting zero tolerance policy towards cases of human rights violations, the Chief Minister said, “We have a commitment towards the people that we will behave with them properly.”
“I have already said and will say it again that you always have to remember the oath and as long as you remember it you will not face any problem in performing your duties. We will not tolerate human rights violations and there should be no violation from your side. We have to show humane face of the police to the people,” he said.
The Chief Minister laid stress on the need to focus on regular policing to check crimes in the society.
“As the situation will improve, we will have to focus on regular policing as well while fighting militancy and law and order situations. We have to give due attention to crime solving, community policing and drug control,” he said.