New Delhi: As many as 350-400 terrorists are present at the launchpads and training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Mukund Naravane, said on Wednesday.
Addressing the Indian Army’s annual press conference, the COAS said that the threat at the Line of Control (LoC) from Pakistan has not receded by any means.
“The threat cannot be ignored,” said the army chief.
Along the LoC with Pakistan, after a heightened situation for a prolonged period, the DGMOs’ understanding in February last year was aimed at achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace, he said.
“Resultantly, the situation has witnessed marked improvement,” said the officer, but with a caution.
“However, increase in the concentration of terrorists in launch pads across the LC and repeated infiltration attempts have once again exposed their (Pakistan’s) nefarious intents,” the Indian Army chief said.
“We, on our part, have resolved to show ‘Zero Tolerance’ to terror, and commit ourselves to extract dire costs, should that be forced upon us,” he said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the ‘Whole of Government’ approach has led to progressive improvement in the security situation, he said.
Efforts to give an indigenous hue to terrorism, by setting up a facade of proxy terror ‘Tanzeems’, have failed miserably, he said, adding that inimical elements have re-energised their attempts at disrupting peace in the Valley by targeting minorities and non-locals.
“However, we have been able to counter these challenges,” he said.
Talking about Siachen, Naravane said that Siachen occurred because of Pakistan’s unilateral attempts. Explaining how there can be disengagement, the officer said that the Indian Army is not averse to demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier.
“But a precondition is acceptance of the Actual Ground Position Line by Pakistan,” he said.