Jammu & Kashmir

Time not ripe for army’s withdrawal from Kashmir: GOC chinar corps

A deployment of armed forces personnel in Kashmir. [FPK File Photo/ Zainab]

Srinagar: The situation in Kashmir has improved vastly over the last few years but the time is not ripe yet for the army to go back to the barracks, a senior Indian army officer told PTI.

In an interview with the news agency, General Officer Commanding of Chinar Corps Lieutenant General A D S Aujla said the number of active militants in the valley is at its lowest in the last 34 years.

“In Sha Allah, but I think the time is not ripe at this point in time. We still have to see a lot of good things happening before we can take a call. Let it be a deliberate one. I won’t comment on the timelines per se, nor would I say that it is the wrong time or the right time,” Lt Gen Aujla was quoted as saying.

Asked to compare the situation in Kashmir today with that of the time he arrived in the Valley as a young officer around 30 years ago, Lt Gen Aujla said things have now fallen into place.

“When we look back at the situation when I first came here, things were on the boil, they had to be controlled. Today, I can say with a certain amount of honesty that in the last 30 years, and particularly in the last three, three-and-a-half years since August 2019, things have fallen into the right place,” he said.

It was a gradual process that went on over the last so many years and there is still a lot of ground which needs to be covered, he said.

Asked if the presence of militants in south Kashmir was a cause of concern, he said there was some “visibility” of militants but “the challenge is to weed them out” further lower the numbers.

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