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Indian Army chief visiting Kashmir


Jammu : The Indian Army chief, Gen. Deepak Kapur, arrived here Friday on his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after assuming office.

During his two-day visit, Kapur will make an overall assessment of the situation in the state, where he had headed the Northern Command until September last year.

The Northern Command is tasked with guarding the frontiers with Pakistan, Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and China, as also the Siachen glacier, the world’s coldest and highest battlefield.

The new army chief will interact with field commanders in the state, and discuss latest counter-insurgency strategies, sources in the Northern Command said.

Kapur has already caused a furore in political circles here by ruling out any troop cuts in the state.

On assuming charge of his new assignment, Gen Kapur stated, “There can be no reduction in troops in Kashmir because the army is continuing to fight terrorism”.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a junior partner in the state’s Congress-led coalition, has challenged this assertion.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has asked Defence Minister A.K. Antony as to why the army chief made an “out of the turn” statement when the Indian government was committed to discussing and deliberating on the issue.

Kapur, during his tenure as the Northern Command chief, was a strong votary of a greater role for the army in Kashmir.