LEH: The northern border is stable but “not normal”, a top Army commander said on Sunday, referring to the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region.
Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Northern Command, said five of the seven friction points in eastern Ladakh, where the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA are locked in a standoff since May 2020, have been resolved and talks are underway for the remaining areas.
“The northern border area is stable but it is not normal or I can say it’s sensitive,” he told reporters here.
Apparently referring to Pakistan, the Army commander said the neighbouring country has orchestrated the terrorist attacks in the Poonch-Rajouri region as they did not like the ongoing development work here.
“There was prosperity and improvement in the lives of people in Poonch-Rajouri area. Investments were coming in and people were getting jobs. Our neighbouring country did not like this atmosphere of peace and prosperity. That’s why they have been promoting militancy in the area but we have launched counter operations,” he said, expressing confidence that they will control militant activities in the coming days.
Lt Gen Dwivedi said the coordination among police, military and local people needs to be improved in the area.
“The number of police stations is being increased while we are carrying out some reorientation as well. This will help us in controlling the situation,” he said.
The Army commander said 2023 has been declared as “zero-infiltration year” as no terrorist was able to come in through the Line of Control.
“…But as you said many terrorists are coming. We have taken action…. If you see last year, only 21 terrorists killed were locals, the remaining 55 were foreigners. In 2022, 121 terrorist recruitments took place but in 2023 only 19 have taken place,” he told reporters.
He said a lot of positive changes have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
“A lot of changes have taken place in the past four years. And all the changes have been for good, be it development of infrastructure, tourist arrivals or outside investments. Overall, it is good for the public, and Jammu and Kashmir is playing an important role in nation building,” he said.
He was in Srinagar to take part in an Armed Forces Veterans’ Day event.
The Armed Forces Veterans’ Day is celebrated on January 14 every year as it was on this day in 1953 that the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Field Marshal K M Cariappa, formally retired from the service.