Srinagar: The apprehensions about the influx of Taliban fighters into Kashmir after the fall of Kabul in 2021 did not materialise and no Afghani Taliban has infiltrated into the valley, a senior Army officer has said here.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Chinar Corps Lieutenant General A D S Aujla also said that due to the ongoing internal crisis in Pakistan, there are no major worries regarding Kashmir but the armed forces have to remain alert to thwart any attempts to push in infiltrators, narcotics or weapons.
“As far as the apprehensions which were there post Taliban 2.0 are concerned, we could see the manifestations (of concern) on this side as well in Kashmir but it never happened,” Lt Gen Aujla told PTI in an interview on Wednesday.
A certain amount of chatter and a certain amount of signature was being reported on the other side in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), but it never translated into reality onto this side, he said.
“So, there was no infiltration of any Afghani Taliban… To that effect, we have been able to control (things),” he added.
The GOC said India has grown in stature in a number of domains, including military, foreign affairs and economy, and is counted amongst “the very best and the most powerful” countries today.
“With that stature today, I think we are in a better position to convey and convince people across borders in many terms, which augurs well for the country. So, while the western adversary (Pakistan) which is closest to us may not agree and actually feels bad about this… the rest of the countries are now… in alignment with us on many matters,” he said.
So, there is hardly a chance of something emanating from the other side and disturbing the peace and tranquillity of Kashmir, he added.
Asked about the current situation in Pakistan and its effect on Kashmir, Lt Gen Aujla said the crisis in the neighbouring country was bound to happen.
“We are all aware of what is happening and the crisis is immense whether it is on the political, economic, social or military front, you name a space and there is a crisis on the other side.
“It was bound to happen the way the country was going, it was just a matter of time,” he said.
However, Lt Gen Aujla said infiltration and smuggling of narcotics and ammunition through the border remain areas of concern.
“What worries us or concerns us at this point in time, majorly nothing. But other than that, when we look at what the dynamics of Kashmir are. The physical manifestation of infiltration is what worries us, the narcotics being pushed across (the border) is what worries us and the ammunition which is sent across is what worries us,” said the GOC, who has served several tenures in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army is prepared to deal with any eventuality along the Line of Control (LoC), he said.
Asked if there has been any activity on the other side of the LoC after the political crisis in Pakistan, Lt Gen Aujla said, “Negative. We have not seen any major change.” Asked about the infiltration of terrorists from PoK, he said the intent of Pakistanis has not changed.
“The intent still remains very much the same. Given the opportunity, he (Pakistan) does not hesitate to infiltrate terrorists. While the intent has not changed, we have put certain measures in place. We are pretty robust and strong along the LoC and can take care of such events,” he said.
Lt Gen Aujla said last year saw the lowest infiltration into the valley.
“I can assure you that till date, it is zero. We will try and keep it to the lowest levels in the months to come,” he said.