We are prepared to face any contingency arising after US troops withdraw from Afghanistan: Lt Gen Ranbir Singh



Srinagar: Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has told the media that the Indian Army is ready to deal with terrorism and have successfully curtailed violence in Kashmir. Stating that they are keeping a close watch over the situation in Afghanistan, he said that they are also prepared to face any contingency arising out of American troops withdraw ing from the war-torn country. The Army Commander said that there was a decline in the recruitment of youth in terrorist circles in the Kashmir valley due to efforts of the Army on the ground in entire South Kashmir. Stating that the Army had dimproved the capabilities in dealing with “terrorism in the hinterland”, he added that the situation was likely to improve in the entire state, especially in Kashmir, in the coming days.

Asked about radicalization of youth in the Valley, he asserted that it was only a matter of concern now and “not a matter of alarm” anymore. However, he expressed concern over the situation arising after the gunfights and said that Pakistani army was using social media platforms to lure the youth to join terror ranks and rob public opinion.

When queried as to why Pakistan was still aiding the terrorists even after the surgical strikes, the top Army officer said that the Army did not expect the whole “terror infrastructure to come down by surgical strikes alone”. He said that strikes were a method to convey a message to the neighbour that “no misadventure would go unanswered from this side”.

Asked about the number of terror camps across the border, Gen Singh said that there were 16 such camps active across the Line of Control (LoC). Giving concrete figures to the media, he said that according to their information, on ground, 350 to 400 terrorists were active in the Valley and another 50 in Jammu region.

The Army Commander said that last year, 191 youths joined terrorist ranks in the state. He further said that in the past five years, 836 terrorists, including 490 foreign terrorists, were killed across the state.

Commenting on the recent statement given by former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asking for action against Major Rohit Shukla, he said that his boys were operating in a professional manner. Stressing that there was a clear standard operating procedure, he said that if anybody went wrong at any stage, “we do investigate and take action accordingly.”


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