STATE TIMES NEWS
Udhampur: A top army general of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday refused to accept the contention that a security lapse led to last week’s suicide attack on an army camp in Jammu and said it was a “frustrated” attempt by Pakistan after it failed to counter the army’s dominance at the LoC.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen D Anbu, who was presenting gallantry awards here, told reporters that the army is continuing with its “pro-active” strategy in the aftermath of the 2016 terror attack in which 17 soldiers died when terrorists stormed the brigade headquarters at Uri in North Kashmir.
The army commander of the strategically-important Northern Command, which looks after the borders from Ladakh to Jammu, maintained that the force would continue with its endeavour of ensuring zero infiltration.
“Infiltration does take place. We endeavour to ensure zero infiltration that is our job and we put our best effort,” he said.
According to the officer, there was considerable reduction in infiltration, but the number of attempts almost doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year.
The general said terrorists were always present at the camps and launching pads across the border to be pushed into India.
“If we take south and north of Pir Panjal, 185 to 220 are always present in south and 195-220 continue to remain in north,” Anbu said. South of Pir Panjal are the areas in Jammu and North is in Kashmir.
On the Sunjwan terror strike in the State on Saturday, he said, “It is the frustrated enemy (Pakistan) which does involve itself in such activities when it is not able to face us on the borders.”
“It is but natural that the enemy is on the receiving end and looks for the easier alternative. While immediately behind the borders we have strengthened ourselves and we are very well prepared, it picked up soft targets,” he said.
The officer said that you cannot have the same security like in borders at areas which are peaceful.
“I will not accept a single lapse on the border because it is supported to be protected. The Army spent almost Rs 364 crore on different things to build up the security of the soft elements on the LoC,” the officer said.
“We got our acts together as far as surveillance, sentry duty and drills and other things are concerned besides the intelligence,” he said.
He said the army would not be cowed down by “small incidents” like “fidayeen” (suicide) attacks or other things and would rather work according to the strategy adopted after the Uri attacks.
“We have adapted to it very well and in the whole year, we have dominated the adversary. It has been a pro-active action after the Uri incident and we have not looked back,” Anbu said.
Terrorists on September 18, 2016, had stormed a battalion headquarters of the army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the early hours, killing 17 jawans and injuring 20 other personnel.
Anbu said Pakistan and its snooping agency ISI were directly involved in terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in neighbouring countries.
Anbu, who is the senior most army officer in the command, said the army was prioritising security of small camps in vulnerable areas and those which need immediate attention.
“The government has also come up with certain funds and I am sure we will be able not only to have a physical fence but also technology to assist it,” he said.
On the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action to ceasefire violations, the officer said, “You do not come to know what is the damage caused across the border because our adversary does not believe in accepting the casualties. We are in a very dominating position.”
Though some media reports suggest that Pakistan suffered 192 fatal casualties along the LoC, the army is not going to put a figure because of the simple reason that Pakistan has only admitted to 13 casualties, he said.
The officer presented 39 Sena Medals and the ‘Unit Appreciation’ to 26 units for their outstanding performance in 2017.
The operations and the management of the LoC was quite complex, challenging and dynamic, and that over the past one year, things evolved continuously, Anbu said.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper