Srinagar: General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, Lieutenant General D P Pandey Monday said that an infiltration attempt had been made in the Uri sector of Baramulla district and the Army was looking for the infiltrators.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Army’s coaching programme ‘Kashmir Super 30’ here, Lt Gen Pandey said that 60 to 70 foreign militants were active in Kashmir and there had been no ceasefire violation this year so far.
“There has been an operation which has been ongoing for the last 24 hours in Uri in which we felt that an infiltration attempt was made. We are looking for the infiltrators,” he said. “Are they on this side or have gone back after making an attempt that has not been clarified yet or verified on the ground but I can assure that our troops on the ground are alert and we will ensure that minimal infiltration takes place whenever they attempt.”
The GOC 15 Corps said that this year there had been no ceasefire violation.
“At least in Kashmir, there has been zero,” he said, adding that the Army was prepared for ceasefire violations. “If anything happens, we are all set to respond appropriately, but, frankly, there has been no instigation from across the border.”
Lt Gen Pandey said that there had been some infiltration attempts, unlike previous years which had not been adequately supported by ceasefire violations.
“There have hardly been any successful attempts. Only about two attempts have succeeded,” he said. “One was neutralised in Bandipora and we are looking for the second one.”
The GOC 15 Corps said that as per the Police, 60 to 70 foreign militants, who were basically Pakistanis, were likely to be present in Kashmir.
“Their strategy is to not carry out any terror attack, but motivate the local youth for actions and give them arms so that they are killed in gunfights,” he said. “It benefits them in a way that when a young boy from our country, our Kashmir, is killed, his family becomes angry with us. This is their strategy and they do not carry out operations and work from behind.”
Replying to a question about the Taliban, he said, “This question has been asked to me at unrelated events. So, I will answer your question: ‘Why are you worried? You are safe and you will be kept safe,’” he said. “There is nothing like quality and quantity. If there is a gentleman who picks up weapons, he will be neutralised either while getting killed or while being apprehended and if he comes and offers to surrender, we will take surrender.”
The GOC 15 Corps said that there was a change in the mindset.
“The youth and the people have also realised that they have taken up the wrong path against the people within their own community. This is the fight against anti-national and anti-social elements which has to be taken by the people themselves,” he said. “We need to ensure that the children come out freely, educate themselves and become responsible citizens of the country.”
Lt Gen Pandey said, “They take respect in the society, fulfill the dreams of their parents. No father or mother wants their child to pelt stones on the streets, but there are vicious elements which motivate them through various means and take them out on to the streets. The current security scenario reflects clearly that the youth have stopped coming out on the streets. They have understood this game and we will continue to launch such ventures to ensure there are better opportunities for the youth to compete with the best across the country and go out over the country, the world and become responsible, mature human beings.”
He said that they had been reaching out to the families and ensuring that they reach out to youth who had been misled and should be allowed to surrender by motivating them to be responsible citizens of the country.
“There can’t be a better opportunity as of today to ensure that they can fall back on civil society,” the GOC 15 Corps said. “We should expose the people who are within Kashmir and are ensuring that their children study in good schools and colleges, have good jobs or businesses, but at the same time mislead the youth who are not from affluent backgrounds, are not so well-educated. They are the ones who pick up weapons and die.”
He said that the family members of the youth who pick up guns need to go and ask those people why their own son was not picking up weapons while they were ensuring that they ask others to pick up weapons.
“They have to ask themselves: ‘Why is it that my kid is taken on the wrong path.’ Unless this realisation comes from within the society, things won’t change,” Lt Gen Pandey said.