Army Chief General MM Naravane on Saturday said there have been three incidents of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in the past few weeks with direct post-on-post fire. He said that long ago in 2003 also such incidents had turned into regular firing, which had actually rendered the ceasefire agreement ineffective.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave, Naravane mentioned that women have been allowed in the non-combat streams of the army, but they are unlikely to move into infantry, armored and mechanized infantry in the near future.
Talking about the situation with Pakistan along the Line of Control, he said that the renewed understanding to abide by the ceasefire agreement in February worked till July, but “from the end of July, these sporadic incidents resumed.” are gone. It is again following the pattern of 2003 when it started with a strange incident, and then went on as good as there was no ceasefire. “
He said that in the past month, “we again see fresh infiltration attempts” and have thwarted “two or three” such attempts. But even beyond that, he said, “there have been three incidents of reasonable ceasefire violations, i.e. firing at one post and another, mostly in the area of Shamshbari range in north Kashmir.”
Not linking it to the changed situation in Afghanistan, the army chief said in the early 2000s, “definitely we had foreign terrorists of Afghan origin in Jammu and Kashmir”. “There is reason to believe that once again the same thing could happen, that once the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes, we may see an influx of these fighters from Afghanistan”.
Expressing concern over the recent increase in terrorism-related incidents in Kashmir, he said the killing of civilians was “condemnable”.
On the possibility of a war on two fronts, Naravane said that “there will always be a possibility of a collusion scenario” between Pakistan and China, but even beyond the military, “all steps will be taken, at the national, political, diplomatic level.” To make sure we don’t get into a situation where we’re facing two enemies at the same time.” However, if this happens, “we have our own strategies”.