Bandipora: General officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lieutenant General Devendra Pratap Pandey Wednesday said that the ceasefire between India and Pakistan brought the long-required peace to the border residents and their lives have become normal.
Lt Gen Panday was on a visit to Gurez valley in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district to preside over the culmination ceremony of the combined annual training camp of National Cadet Corps (NCC) organised by Army’s 3 Bn.
“I am pleased to be here in Gurez and to see these lovely, young, smart, well-attired and disciplined NCC cadets. It is a great initiative of NCC to have camped in Gurez valley. Cadets from Jammu and the naval NCC batch also came here to attend the event and went through various paces of firing, rock climbing, drill, and living in a camp environment. I find these cadets highly-motivated and dedicated towards the cause of NCC,” he said.
About the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) including Gurez, the GOC 15 Corps said, “Gurez is peaceful, and with the ongoing ceasefire, the border villages have got the long-required peace. They are able to carry out routine activity without any fear or constraints and life has become normal.”
About the tourist influx in the border valley, he said, “I was impressed on seeing a number of tourists from Kashmir and outside camping and enjoying the virgin beauty of Gurez.”
Narrating his experiences of Gurez valley, Lt Gen Pandey said, “I have been here in Gurez in 1998-99 and 2000. It is possibly one of the most beautiful places on the earth and the people are humble and nice and look after anybody who comes from outside.”
He said that his message was to come and enjoy the nascent beauty of the place and see the Habba-Khatoon Peak, named after the legendary Kashmiri poet and ascetic.
The GOC 15 Corps said, “Tourism is part of the civil administration and the current dispensation is doing good work to ensure that people reach the remote corners.”
He said that the Army’s responsibility was to ensure security so that people could roam in the remotest areas without fear.
“With the support of civil society, the citizens of our country and people of Kashmir, we will be able to ensure prosperity in the region so that men and women both live the way they want to live as part of a modern society and culture,” Lt General Pandey said.
He said that the National Cadet Corps (NCC) was a platform to bring children from Machil, Tangdhar, Uri and other places together and learn discipline.
“The larger goal is to give them a feeling that they are part of a large society and can play a role too rather than keeping them confined to their surroundings where they feel isolated,” the GOC 15 Corps said.