KUPWARA: Days after the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army on Saturday said it will exercise maximum restraint in case of any violation of the understanding by the other side.
Welcoming the agreement arrived at between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries, a top Army officer said the decision was significant as it would bring relief to the people living near the LoC.
“We will not retaliate as long as it is possible and we hope that the Pakistani side will also uphold the agreement,” General Officer Commanding (GoC), 28 Infantry Division, Major General V M B Krishnan told reporters in Kupwara, about 100 km north of Srinagar, when asked about the directions for the Army in case Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement.
The 28 Infantry Division covers the Tangdhar, Keran, Machil (in Kupwara district) and Gurez (in Bandipora) sectors along the LoC.
“We welcome the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. We hope it ushers in an era of peace, security and development to the villages close to the LoC,” Maj. Gen. Krishnan said.
He also expressed hope that the infiltration from across the LoC is “shut down” by Pakistan.
The GoC said the reiteration of the ceasefire agreement is a significant decision as it will bring a lot of relief to the people of about 300 villages located very close to the LoC.
“It will now enable these people to go about their daily lives…. It is important for us to have peace and security in our region so that development can take place,” he said.
Saying if peace and tranquillity prevail along the LoC, it will help build mutual trust and confidence between the two neighbouring countries, the GoC asserted that the ceasefire agreement is the first step towards that.
“(But) we have a fair amount of distance to cover. I hope terrorism gets absolutely diminished and eliminated in the next couple of years. So we have to take all these steps for many things to happen in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Krishnan said the LoC has been tranquil for the last two days as there has been no violation and “it is very quiet”.
However, he said the Army continues to receive inputs about the presence of militants at some terror launchpads across the LoC.
“We are on high alert and fully prepared to foil any infiltration attempt,” he added.
Asked about the possible impact of the agreement on infiltration attempts from across the border, the GoC said when there are no ceasefire violations, “it does enable us to handle the situation very well”.
However, infiltration attempts are very much possible, especially given the rugged terrain of the area, he added.
The Army officer said while drones were spotted in the airspace on the Indian side of the LoC, there have been no instances of weapons-dropping.
“We have shot at them and sent them back,” he added.