The guns continue to remain silent along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir during the India-Pakistan ceasefire. Between the two sides holding ground, officials are estimating that this will hold for the next two months before winter sets in. However, local recruitment remains a cause for concern as shown by data and acknowledged by officials.
Lt. Gen. D. P. Pandey, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar-based 15 corps said that “There has been no increase in ceasefire violation by Pakistan. This year, there has been none. At least in the Kashmir Valley, there have been no incidents of CFV (cease-fire violation).”
He stated that at the same time there were only two infiltration attempts and were not supported by Pakistan by providing firing cover. “One was neutralized in Bandipora recently. Another operation is on in Baramulla’s Uri for the past 24 hours after we felt an infiltration attempt was made.” Lt. Gen. Pandey added “Frankly speaking, there has been no instigation from across the border.”
According to the data from the Army, there were 4,645 CFVs in 2020, 3163 in 2019, and 1629 CFVs in 2018. In the India-Pakistan Ceasefire agreement 2021, there are 592 CFVs this year till the commitment came into effect on February 25.
With winter about to set in a couple of months, when the high altitude passes would be blocked by snow, the ground assessment is that the situation would remain silent barring a few infiltration attempts. If so, it would mean one of the quietest years along the LOC in many years.
However, the local recruitment and violence continue in the Kashmir valley with data showing only a partial reduction. According to the data, local recruitment in 2019 was 119 and in 2020 it was 186. This year till June end the number stood at 79.
Lt Gen. Pandey said that there were an estimated 60-70 foreign terrorists in the valley, “who are basically Pakistanis” and their strategy was not to carry out an attack themselves but force locals to involve in some activity and get killed in encounters.
“This results in angst among the local militants’ family and friends against us. That seems their strategy”, he added.
As for the number of terrorists neutralized, at the end of August, 110 terrorists were killed in Kashmir this year with the lowest at three in January and the highest in July at 33. In comparison, 221 terrorists were neutralized in 2020, 153 in 2019, and 215 in 2018.