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Ceasefire will have no bearing on ‘anti-terror’ ops in J&K: Lt Gen Joshi

Jammu: Northern Command chief Lt Gen YK Joshi said that ceasefire agreement between Indo-Pak Armies for Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors which came into force from the intervening night of February 24 and 25 will have no bearing on counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that the Indian Army has maintained domination on its borders with the neighbouring countries.

He said situation in the Kashmir valley has also shown considerable improvement the previous year as there was sleep reduction in terror-related activities as well as stone pelting incidents.

“The agreement between India and Pakistan for ceasefire on the Line of Control would have no bearing on the counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Northern Command chief said at the command’s investiture ceremony in Udhampur.

Lt Gen Joshi said the Northern Command which looks after the security of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh including both Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Eastern Ladakh, was on the highest alert and made possible what was believed impossible by the bravery, grit and determination of the troops in the face of challenging situations along the frontiers.

“Recently, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan have announced an agreement to uphold ceasefire along the LoC from February 24 and 25 midnight. I want to assure that this ceasefire will have no bearing on the counter-terrorist operations and we will maintain our alertness,” Lt Gen Joshi said.

It may be mentioned here that the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan had reached fresh agreement for maintaining ceasefire along Line of Control and all other Sectors with effect from the midnight of February 24 and 25, a move welcomed by the people living along the borders as they will be able to cultivate their crops right up to the Zero Line and will also live freely in their houses as earlier they were always in the grip of fear of firing and shelling from Pakistan Army and Rangers on the Line of Control as well as the International Border. The ceasefire was also result of several months of backchannel diplomacy between the two neighbours. However, ever since the ceasefire agreement came into force, there has been no firing or shelling either on the LoC or on the International Border, sources said.

“The Northern Command has always stood like a shield against the attempts by our neighbouring countries to spread disturbance and it will continue to remain so in the future. Whenever anyone raises an evil eye on our country, Indian Army has replied strongly,” Lt Gen Joshi said.

Without naming China and Pakistan, he said Indian Army has maintained its domination on its borders with the neighbouring countries and helped in maintaining peace in the hinterland.

Referring to the Eastern Ladakh standoff with the Chinese army, the Northern Command chief said Indian Army stood up to the challenge on the snow-capped mountains of the Line of Actual Control during the challenging situation in 2020 and maintained the highest alert.

“Our action is a glaring example of our training, bravery and pledge (to safeguard the borders) and it will be written in history with golden words. The Northern Command made possible what seemed impossible. The success of the operation (in Ladakh) is the glaring example of the bravery of Indian Army,” he said.

India and China have already reached agreement on disengagement of troops along Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh while military level talks were also held for withdrawal of troops in other sectors.

Lt Gen Joshi said 2020 was historic in many ways for the Army which demonstrated its mettle in Eastern Ladakh by its “grit, determination, self-confidence, bravery and steadfastness”.

He said there has been a tremendous improvement in the basic deployment and preparedness and the efforts in this direction will continue.

“The measures we have put in to strengthen our defences, the same efforts were made to maintain peace,” he added.

In Kashmir, he said, the overall security situation saw a great improvement in the previous year as there has been a considerable reduction in terrorist-initiated incidents, stone-pelting activities and protests as a result of tireless efforts of the security forces and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.He said the Army also played a key role in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Under ‘Seva Paramo Dharma’, Army doctors, nursing staff, ambulance and medical corps staff without caring for their lives worked round-the-clock and are continuously doing so,” he said.

He congratulated those who were decorated for their bravery and conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the brave men who made the supreme sacrifice on the borders, including at Galwan Valley, and in the battle against internal security challenges.

Lt Gen Joshi urged all ranks, ex-servicemen, civilians and their families to rededicate themselves to the cause of the nation.

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