‘External drivers overwhelm internal influences in J&K’

Mubarak Ansari
Wednesday, 20 February 2019

“The external drivers overwhelm the internal influences in the state. We revise strategies accordingly,” Lt Gen SK Saini added. 

PUNE: Southern Army Commander Lt Gen SK Saini on Tuesday said that the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has transformed over the years and now, more locals are involved than foreigners in terrorist activities backed by Pakistan’s ISI. “The external drivers overwhelm the internal influences in the state. We revise strategies accordingly,” he added. 

The officer said this during an interaction with the media persons on the sidelines of the Southern Command investiture ceremony at Dhanwantri auditorium of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).

Talking about the recent suicide attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, he added, “As per the security mechanisms in place, it is assumed that the attacker will try to escape. But in case of a suicide attack, the person does not want to go back. Hence, sometimes, they succeed in defeating the security mechanism. We continuously revise our strategies to deal with suicide attacks based on the trends. This time, vehicle-borne IED was used. The content of explosives was phenomenal which caused such damage.”

About the insurgency, Lt Gen Saini said, “We have a very clear national policy to tackle insurgency, which has three tenets. First is rule of law and constitution. Second is the use of minimum force. The third is that special nuances of a particular area be factored in, including development and political initiatives.”

“Any conflict has two aspects, external drivers and internal influences. In J&K, the external drivers overwhelm the internal influences. And that is the problem as we have been able to find answers for insurgencies in other places,” Lt Gen Saini added.

The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) also made it clear that the Army is prepared to take on any challenges, whether it may be the dynamic external challenges or attempts by inimical forces to undermine the internal stability. 

Incidents like Pulwama attack have not affected the morale of the Army and it is high as always, the GOC-in-C further added.

- The Southern Army Commander felicitated 19 Sena Medal (Gallantry) award winners. In addition, seven Sena Medals, One Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal and 12 Vishisht Seva Medals were also awarded for the distinguished service.
- The Army Commander also bestowed Unit Citations to 19 Units of Southern Command for their meritorious and outstanding performance. Out of these 19 Units, four had participated in relief and rescue operations during the Kerala floods in August 2018. 
- Almost 12,500 people in Kerala were rescued by troops of Southern Command during these floods. The award for the best Record Office was given to Army Supply Corps Records (Animal Transport), Bengaluru. 
- Best Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) Polyclinic award was given to ECHS Polyclinic, Theni (Tamil Nadu). 
- The ceremony was graced by a host of civil and military dignitaries and other distinguished guests. Children and staff from various schools also witnessed the solemn event.

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