India-Pakistan ceasefire has had a positive impact, says Jammu and Kashmir Police Chief

Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh said on Monday that the ceasefire between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) has had a positive impact on the ground but foreign militants continue to be present in Kashmir.

In an interaction with the media in Srinagar, Singh said three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, including a Pakistani militant identified as Abdullah, were killed in an encounter in Sopore of northern Kashmir. The other two militants killed were identified as Mudasir Pandit and Khurshid Mir, who were involved in killing of several armed forces personnel and others.

This year, more than 60 militants have been killed in separate gunfights and encounters across J&K.

“Understanding regarding the ceasefire at a high level had a positive impact on the ground and we welcome it. Infiltration has been strictly monitored as well,” said Singh.

However, he said it would be wrong to assume there are no foreign militants present in Kashmir.

“Good numbers of foreigners are present on the ground and we will target them in operations in the coming days. Right now they are lying low and keeping a distance but we have their names and numbers,” said Singh.

This year, only two foreign militants have been killed in operations until now. Both of them were present in Baramulla district of northern Kashmir.

The director general of police also raised concern over narcotics and weapons smuggling along the LoC in northern Kashmir and international border in Jammu.

Inspector general of police in Kashmir Vijay Kumar said youths are indulging in narcotics and falling prey to indoctrination. “I urge parents to keep strict parental control and keep a watch on activities of their children,” he said.

The general officer commanding of army’s Kilo Force, H S Sahi, said their main focus is to destroy the networks of local and foreign militants and the ecosystem which supports them to end the cycle of violence in Kashmir.

“Those living in palatial houses with nothing at stake are part of this ecosystem. They exploit the youngsters into taking up arms. But they will be dealt with seriously,” said Sahi. He also warned local militants to shun gun culture and join the national mainstream. “If they don’t, they will meet the fate of those killed in the Sopore gunfight today,” he said.

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