Drass: A top Indian army commander described the current situation in Kashmir as “stable but fragile”.
“The situation in Kashmir is stable. However, it is fragile. The violence parameters which we have seen in 2018 are relatively better as compared to 2017 and earlier years. The stone-pelting activities are relatively less this year. That shows an understanding and comprehension in the minds of the local youth that it is futile to come out and carry out stone pelting on government agencies and security forces,” Northern Army Commander Lt General Ranbir Singh told reporters on the anniversary of Kargil conflict.
They need to understand that it is the dividend of peace that needs to be exploited, he added expressing confidence that things were moving in that direction.
Lt Gen Singh said the situation deteriorates for sometime whenever Pakistan pushes in funds, weapons or militants.
Singh also said the Indian Army was capable of meeting any contingency or challenge along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
He said the modernisation of armed forces was going on in a big way which had improved operational preparedness.
“I can tell you that Indian Army is fully prepared to take on any challenge along the Line of Actual Control and even along the Line of Control.”.
In the last 19 years, as far as the modernisation of the armed forces is concerned, it is going on in a big way, he said.
“We have been able to identify certain areas where we required additional focus — whether it in the form of infrastructure development close to the LoC or even on the LAC or improvement of night vision capability, surveillance capability, night fighting capability. There is a substantial improvement that has taken place in so far as ops preparedness of the armed forces is concerned,” he said.
Singh downplayed incidents of “transgression” along the LAC by the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) saying these happened due to differing perception.
“On a large number of occasions, there are reports that the PLA of China has carried out transgressions in various areas along the LAC. But such transgressions have always taken place in areas where we have differing perception of the LAC. We do not have a delineated LAC. Similarly, when we speak to Chinese authorities, they also refer to us having transgressed into their territory on several occasions,” he added.
The Army commander said there were well-established working mechanisms in place to resolve issues.
Lt Gen Singh refused to be drawn into the post-election scenario in Pakistan, where Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party was emerging as the single largest party, saying it should be left to the authorities and people of Pakistan on how they handle the challenges inside their country.
“But with regard to the challenges to Indian Army along the LoC, I want to tell you that Indian army is prepared for any contingency. Any kind of movement, any kind of misadventure which our adversary tries to undertake, they will be given a befitting reply as always. So, be very very sure that the army is fully trained, we are equipped and motivated and always prepared to take on any contingency,” he said.