Pakistan backing proxy war in Kashmir, Indian Army chief says
New Delhi: Indian General Army chief Dalbir Singh said Tuesday that Pakistan was supporting a proxy war against India in Jammu and Kashmir and security challenges were growing due to the “active frontier”.
At the annual press conference before the Day of the Army, General Dalbir Singh said the Chinese border was peaceful and measures of confidence-building have been effective.
He said the recent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir showed that terrorist camps in Pakistan were intact.
“Pakistan is supporting a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties within their country. Recent terrorist strikes reflect their despair. It also indicates that the infrastructure or camps [terrorist] across the border are intact” said.
He said ceasefire violations by Pakistan have moved towards the international border (IB) in Jammu region from the Line of Control (LOC).
“The grid counterinsurgency is very strong in the LoC. Now the focus [has] shifted to the IB” he said.
Infiltration attempts have either been frustrated by the Line of Control, or infiltrators have infiltrated, who have been in trouble, he said.
Gen. Dalbir Singh said there were streams and creeks along the IB that people across the border may try to use to infiltrate.
Answering another query, he said Indian military commanders had free rein to retaliate for cross-border fire.
“Commanders have a free hand to operate, to retaliate so they think is right,” he said.
Gen. Dalbir Singh said the army has “zero tolerance” for human rights violations. “Otherwise [there is] no restriction.”
He said security challenges were growing “because of the active borders we have.”
“The army is prepared, well trained, motivated, equipped, focused on promoting the national interest and meet any threat that is on the way,” he said.
In reference to the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and the high turnout, General Dalbir Singh said that happened because of the improved security situation.
The army chief said areas like Tral and Sopore had recorded less than five percent of the vote in the 2008 election, but this time recorded about 39 percent of the vote.
“It was because of the security situation created the locals felt safe going out to vote,” he said.
The army and other security forces had created a safety net for a “stable security situation.”
Said 110 militants were eliminated last year, of which 104 were killed by the army. The army chief said 65 militants were killed in 2013.
He said the “spillover from Afghanistan due to the evolving situation was being watched carefully.”
He said the Chinese border was peaceful. “We are following a policy of constructive engagement as China is concerned.”
Gen. Dalbir Singh said that trade-army-to-army between the two countries have improved mutual understanding and helped in resolving disputes.
Referring to the situation in the Northeast, said it was “stable”.
“People friendly operations being carried out to complement development efforts,” he said.