Nowadays the army vehicles in Kashmir are with white and blue flags. The Army says that steps are being taken to make the force more people-friendly. Hitherto, the army vehicles used to have red flags and even the soldiers in Road Opening Parties carried red flags while paving way for convoys.
The vehicles with white and blue flags are mostly seen in north Kashmir, the area is being supervised by the army’s Kilo Force.
“This is a step towards more friendly relations with aawam,” General Officer Commanding Kilo Force, Major General H S Sahi told the Greater Kashmir. “Once our vehicles move, we want there must not be any inconvenience to the people.”
Sahi said that local formation commanders continuously give guidelines to soldiers how to operate. “Our rules of engagement are very people-friendly and we conduct operations in a very people-friendly manner,” he said.
“Now we only check a vehicle once there is some clear input otherwise we do not,” said a senior army officer posted in north Kashmir.
“Only vehicles carrying soldiers for operation are having red flags for caution,” a senior army officer of Awantipora based Victor Force said. “Even vehicles carrying our senior officers are having blue flags now.”
Senior army officials said that in near future walls around cantonments will be having pictures of young achievers from Kashmir.
“Now you can’t see soldiers carrying lathis while guarding convoys,” an officer said. “The army soldiers travelling in the convoys have also been asked to behave more politely with the people during stopovers.”
“Our basic purpose is to go after militants who create disturbance. Our aim is not to cause inconvenience to the civilian population who are not indulging in arson or violence,” he added.