Saturday, July 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Army suspends J&K operations
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, July 28 — The Army has suspended operations against militants in Kashmir following the announcement of the unilateral ceasefire by pro-Pakistan Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. While the Army is taking only precautionary measures, no action has been taken against the militants on its own.

This was disclosed by Major-Gen Basant Singh, Chief of Staff, 15 Corps, while talking to mediapersons here today. He expressed happiness over the unilateral ceasefire by the Hizbul-Mujahideen adding that the locals were equally happy over the development. Major-Gen Basant Singh said the ceasefire decision was taken by the militant outfit only because of pressure from people. “The people want peace’” he said adding that it was only due to this craving of the public the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen had taken such a decision.

Answering questions General Basant Singh said any decision to decide the ceasefire on the Army’s side in Jammu and Kashmir would be that of the Government of India. As of now, the Army has not been taking any action on its own. “We are only engaged in precautionary measures like road opening and area action has been taken on our part” after the announcement of the ceasefire, he said in reply to a question. He added that the guard against militants has not been lowered.

In reply to another question on the infiltration after the ceasefire announcement, General Basant Singh said the infiltration attempts were continuing along the borders. “Alertness on our part will continue,” he said adding there was no permission to anybody to infiltrate into our side of the border.

Earlier, addressing 256 NCC cadets drawn from all states and union territories of the country, the General said the credit of the ceasefire went to the people of Kashmir. He added that without the support of people militancy would not last long. He said people of Kashmir were fed up with militancy and were craving for peace. He said Pakistan had unleashed a proxy war in Kashmir over the past 10 years, adding that the security forces had been doing their best to fight militants. He said Pakistan had in the past too made several attempts to foment trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

The cadets visited Srinagar from July 25 to July 28. This visit was part of the national integration camp which commenced at Leh on July 17. The cadets prior to coming to Srinagar visited areas in the Kargil and Dras regions.

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