Srinagar: General Officer Commanding of Victor Force, Major General Rashim Bali said that the security situation in the restive south Kashmir has improved significantly and the army and other security agencies are prepared to conduct incident-free annual Amarnath Yatra.
“The prevailing security situation in south Kashmir is stable. It is our responsibility to keep the security situation good so that development takes shape,” GOC said as per news agency KINS, while talking to reporters in ‘Youm-e-Rasul Mir’ function at south Kashmir.
He however said that security agencies won’t tolerate those who pick guns against the nation. “We have no option other than to eliminate those who pick a gun,” he said.
The Indian Army organised ‘Youm-e-Rasul Mir’ to celebrate the works of the leading 19th century romantic poet of Kashmir in his hometown Dooru-Shahabad here after a gap of over three decades.
The GOC said that the event will help the youth to connect with their roots, culture and Kashmiriyat and move forward with their heads held high, an Army officer said.
The Army officer said the situation is fast improving in Kashmir and “we are organising this festival to make a new beginning in the changing scenario”.
“The youth are the biggest catapult of this change and I am proud that the Kashmiri youth have a lot of potential and only need a chance.The aim of organising this festival is to facilitate the youth to connect with their roots, culture and Kashmiriyat and move forward with their heads held high,” he said.
Maj Gen Bali exhorted the youth to distinguish between right and wrong and also remain alert against the elements who are out to mislead them.
“In the prevailing competitive times, only hard work and focus can lead the youth to success,” he said.
The festival was organised by the 19 Rashtriya Rifles with support of the civil administration saw scintillating performances by popular singers, dancers and dramatists who highlighted the works of Rasul Mir, popularly known as “John Keats of Kashmir”.
“Rasul Mir was a legendary poet of Kashmir and was known as ‘imam-e-Ishqiya Shayari’ (the epitome of romantic poetry). This day used to be celebrated here (Dooru) earlier, but was stopped after the eruption of terrorism,” he said.
A testimony to the improved situation was the huge influx of tourists to the Valley including at south Kashmir’s Pahalgam resort, the officer said. We are not saying that it is terrorism-free, but it has vastly improved and there is an increasing support of ‘Awaam’ (people) to our efforts and (anti-militancy) operations, he said.
He said they are ready to deal with the security challenges. “We will take care of the deployment of forces on the route (of the yatra) as well as put additional forces wherever needed. We will be able to conduct a safe and secure yatra,” he said. We are looking at good days ahead, he added.
The annual Amarnath pilgrimage usually starts in June-July on the traditional 36-km-long Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the shorter 14-km-long Baltal route in Ganderbal district. It concludes in August, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.(KINS)