Monday, 11 July 2011

700 militants waiting to cross LoC: Army

700 militants waiting to cross LoC: Army
Published: Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011, 1:27 IST
By Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | Place: Beerwa (Budgam) | Agency: DNA

The army has pressed the panic button ahead of the Indo-Pak foreign ministers talks, saying 42 terror camps are operational in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and 700 militants are waiting to cross into the Valley.

“I have always said there are 700 militants waiting across the LoC. These figures can be less or more, I can only have assessments. There are 42 camps, which have always been there and these have not been dismantled,” said Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

The army has foiled five infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC) recently, which indicate the militants’ desperation to cross over. “Five such contacts took place, in which two militants were killed. By foiled I mean that the militants could not get through and went back. I am sure more (attempts) will take place,” he said.

The army commander also linked the withdrawing of the Armed Forces Special Forces Act (AFSPA) from Kashmir to the dismantling of terror infrastructure across the LoC.

“Unless infrastructure within the Valley and the terror camps across the LoC are dismantled, I do not think you can hope for sustained and long term peace. Therefore the issue of withdrawal of the AFSPA and of army from certain areas do not even merit consideration unless we have sustained period of peace,” said Lt Gen Hasnain.

He said he has personally submitted army’s view (about the issue of AFSPA) to the state government.

Lt Gen Hasnain is only the second Muslim army commander after Lt Gen MA Zaki to head the sensitive Srinagar-based 15 Corps in the last 20 years of militancy in Kashmir.

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