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The India-Pak ceasefire contributed to the sense of peace; first step on a long road to normalization of ties: Army chief | India News

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NEW DELHI: The holding of the ceasefire between the Indian and Pakistani armies along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir for the past three months has contributed to a sense of peace and security and is the first step towards a long road of normalization of ties between the two countries, said the Army Chief of Staff, General MM Naravane.
In an exclusive interview with PTI, General Naravane at the same time said that the ceasefire does not mean that India’s fight against terrorism has stopped and noted that there was no reason to believe that the terrorist infrastructure throughout of the LoC has been dismantled. by the Pakistani Army.
The Army Chief also said that consistency in reducing infiltration attempts and terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir will go a long way towards assuring India of Pakistan’s intention to foster good neighborly relations.
General Naravane said that adherence to the ceasefire pact has “definitely” contributed to the general feeling of peace and security in the region and has boosted prospects for peace after a long period of outbreaks.
In a sudden and significant move aimed at reducing tensions, the Indian and Pakistani armies announced on February 25 that they would stop firing through the LoC while re-committing to a 2003 ceasefire agreement.
“The ceasefire throughout the LoC does not mean that our fight against terrorism has stopped. We have no reason to believe that the terrorist infrastructure throughout the LoC has been dismantled by the Pakistani military.
“Whether because of their inability or unwillingness, both are equally dangerous and concerning, especially in light of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the Army chief said, referring to the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw troops. Americans from Afghanistan before 9/11. .
Referring to the ceasefire, General Naravane said there was not a single incident of cross-border shooting by the two armies after the pact went into effect, although there was one incident involving Pakistani Rangers in the Jammu sector.
“This year, we have seen a drastic reduction in the levels of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The security forces and other government agencies are working in sync to keep pressure on terrorist groups and squeeze logistical support,” he said.
“Consistency in reducing infiltration attempts and terrorist incidents on the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will go a long way toward ensuring for us Pakistan’s intention to foster good neighborly relations with us,” General Naravane said.
He said there was a renewed emphasis on observance of the 2003 ceasefire agreement due to the heavy losses of civilian and military life throughout the LoC.
“The cessation of shooting has the interest of generating trust between the two armies, to give an opportunity for peace and for the benefit of the population that resides throughout the LoC,” he said.
The Chief of the Army said that India would like to continue with the ceasefire so that it contributes to the stability and improvement of the relationship.
“It is the first step towards the long road of normalization of relations with Pakistan. For our part, we would like to continue with the ceasefire so that it contributes to the stability and improvement of the relationship,” he said.
General Naravane also said that the recruitment of local youth into militant teams has also witnessed a reduction, adding that it is an indicator that ordinary people wanted peace.
“We remain committed to providing an enabling environment for peace to prevail. Economic activity had started well this year, but has slowed down due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
“I am sure this is a temporary hiatus and business activities will resume soon, as during the winter months we had seen a record number of tourists visiting the Valley,” he said.
At the same time, he said arms and narcotics smuggling remained a concern and there have been attempts to use unmanned systems after people have been captured.
“We continue to monitor these developments and maintain a strong anti-infiltration network. We do not want the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to indulge in drugs, crime or violence,” he said.
“The young people are brilliant and many have demonstrated their ability by doing well in sports and academia, bringing laurels to their families, their village, city, district and union territory,” he said.
General Naravane said that the Indian Army actively furthers such aspirations by organizing various sporting and educational events.
“We are hopeful that the threat will end the concerted efforts of the government and ‘Awaam’,” he said.
Pakistan has been making concerted efforts to internationalize the Kashmir issue. The neighboring country stepped up its campaign against India after New Delhi announced in August 2019 its decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and fork the state into two union territories.
India has told Pakistan that it wishes normal neighborhood relations with Islamabad in an environment free from terror, hostility and violence.
He has said that Pakistan has a responsibility to create an environment free from terror and hostility.



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