General officer Commanding (GoC) of army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey on Saturday said that Kashmir was more peaceful compared to past few years as important security parameters – local militant recruitment, stone pelting, strike calls are all time low.
He, however, said while youth between the age-group of 20 to 25 have understood that “violence leads to nowhere”, white collar militants are now trying hard to lure teenagers between the age group of 16 to 19.
Talking to reporters on the side-lines of Gulmarg Sports Festival jointly organised by the Army and Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA), Lt Gen Pandey said that Kashmir indeed is more peaceful this year compared to past few years.
“This is because there is a huge tourist influx at the beginning of this the ensuing year and we expect a record number of tourist arrivals,” he said in reply to a query whether Kashmir was changing and heading towards peace.
While explaining, the GoC Pandey said that important security parameters including local militant recruitment, stone pelting and band calls are all time low.
“These parameters are well under control and much need to ensure peace. You hardly see stone pelting and bandh calls nowadays,” he said.
The army officer, however, said that while youth who are in their 20’s have understood that violence and militancy leads to destruction only and picking up gun is no solution, white collar militants are now trying their best to lure teenagers between the age of 16 and 19 years.
“It is easy to brainwash very young minds. Controlling local militant recruitment was and is very important for us and we are following a collective approach for which we need societies’ support as government and the army are already on job,” the GoC said.
Replying to another query, GoC Pandey said that the army’s calendar of events for this summer is full to ensure that message of peace which Kashmir is witnessing will go all across world.
“The summer season is approaching, the army is ready with its calendar having sufficient events in pipeline to ensure the tourism which is backbone of Kashmir economy remains intact. We expect record number of tourist arrivals this year as already one lakh tourists have already visited Gulmarg so far,” the GoC said.
He said that the events and festivals being organised by army, administration and other sections of society sends a message to people across world that the situation is peaceful in Kashmir.
“Considering peaceful atmosphere, people across world should visit valley which will boost economy of Kashmir valley and will generate employment for locals,” he said. (KNO)