Tribune News Service
Srinagar, February 13
Top Army officials in Kashmir today briefed the 25-member delegation of the foreign envoys and told them that the recruitment of locals into militant ranks had reduced by 45 per cent last year.
Envoys had breakfast with the Army officers, led by Lt-General KJS Dhillion, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Army’s Srinagar-based strategic 15 Corps.
During the one-hour meeting from 8.30 am at 15 Corps base, the envoys were briefed on the security situation in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370.
“Kashmir witnessed a reduction in local militant recruitment in 2019 by almost 45 per cent compared to 2018. Out of those who had joined militant ranks, many had returned home,” said an Army officer, quoting Dhillion telling the envoys.
The envoys concluded their Kashmir visit on Thursday after their meeting with the Army officials. Unlike Wednesday, when they drove past busy roads and markets, the envoys were airlifted to the Srinagar airport from the Army base.
They reached Jammu in the morning where they met politicians and civil society members.
“The envoys were appreciative of various initiatives of the government to restore normalcy to wean away youths from militancy,” an Army official said.
He said the envoys were briefed about the efforts of the authorities to engage youth in vocational training in fields like hospitality, computer training and mobile repair. “These efforts are aimed to empower young Kashmiri youths to make a living for themselves in organised and non-organised sectors. This will also keep them away from drugs and guns,” sources said, quoting Dhillion telling the envoys.
The Army officials also briefed the envoys about the construction of community shell-proof underground bunkers in villages close to the line of control for the safety of local population.
The delegation of foreign envoys comprised New Delhi-based ambassadors from 25 countries, including Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, European Union, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and Republic of Uzbekistan.
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