Army withdrawal from Kashmir

Army personnel during search operation in Kandi forests of Rajouri on Friday. -Excelsior/Imran

While the situation in Kashmir has greatly improved in recent years, it is not yet the right time for the army to withdraw. The General Officer Commanding Chinar Corps observed that the number of active terrorists in the region is currently at its lowest in 34 years. However, he emphasised that several positive developments need to occur before a decision can be made, and the timing for such a decision cannot be determined at this point.
Kashmir has been a region plagued by insurgency and militancy for decades. The presence of armed groups and cross-border terrorism in Pakistan has posed significant security challenges. The Indian Army plays a crucial role in counter-insurgency operations in the region. The tensions and sporadic incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC make it imperative for India to maintain a strong military presence in Kashmir as a deterrent against external threats. The presence of the army in Kashmir also serves to protect the local population from militant attacks and ensure their safety. The region has witnessed acts of violence and human rights abuses by terrorists in the past, and the army’s presence is aimed at safeguarding the civilian population. While the situation in Kashmir has improved in recent years, there is still work to be done in terms of long-term peacebuilding and stabilisation. The Government is focused on promoting development, economic growth, and inclusive governance in the region. The army’s presence aids in maintaining a secure environment for these efforts to take root.
Due to its geographical location, proximity to borders, and access to crucial water resources, Kashmir maintains significant strategic importance. Given the persistent hostility displayed by Pakistan, India is compelled to maintain its defensive measures. The decision to withdraw the army from Kashmir is a multifaceted and delicate issue, requiring careful evaluation of political, security, and socio-economic factors. The Government is actively monitoring the situation to achieve zero terrorism and peaceful elections before contemplating any substantial reduction in military presence.