Army chief reviews operational readiness in J&K

Jammu: Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh Tuesday reviewed the operational preparedness of the force along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

A defence spokesperson said that Gen. Singh – who is on a two-day visit of Jammu region – visited border areas in Rajouri and interacted with the troops guarding the LoC.

The LoC is important in the security scheme of things in Jammu and Kashmir because terrorists trained and armed in Pakistan infiltrate India via Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) through this route.

Gen. Singh, who arrived here Tuesday, will be interacting with Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and share the army’s perception about the situation along the LoC and in the hinterland, and security challenges that lie ahead, according to sources in the army.

He also said that the army chief took stock of the operational and logistics preparedness and was briefed by the formation commanders on the situation along the LoC.

The sources added that apart from the overall situation along the LoC, the issue of the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that works as a legal shield for soldiers for their acts of omission and commission during the anti-terrorism operations, would also be discussed.

Omar Abdullah wants a “phased removal of AFSPA” from parts of Jammu and Kashmir “where army has not operated for years”.

However, the army has its own reservations on revoking the AFSPA because of the fragile situation in Pakistan and the expected pullout of international forces from Afghanistan in 2014.

– IANS

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