Srinagar: Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army General Ved Prakash Malik on Wednesday termed the closure of the Kashmir highway for the civilian movement as a ‘dumb idea.’
The retired general said that the banning of the highway is against the army’s core objective of “winning hearts and minds” of the local populace.
In a tweet he said:
Kashmir. Ban on move of civ vehs on NH twice a week is a dumb idea 1. Goes against core object of winning hearts & minds. 2. Civil Adm must weigh pros & cons 3. Instead of strengthening local police & int, & improving move security, shows forces becoming over defensive
— Vedmalik (@Vedmalik1) April 10, 2019
While the army stationed in the Valley has said they don’t have any information about the closure of the highway, the outgoing union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that he would not revoke the order banning the civilian movement.
According to the order issued last week, the highway from Baramulla in north Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu will remain closed every Wednesday and Sunday till May 31 to ensure movement of the forces’ personnel for the election purpose.