New Delhi: Army chief General Manoj Pande said on Tuesday that “the situation in J&K is well under control.”
The abrogation of Article 370 and the kind of “whole of nation approach” adopted have resulted in a “number of positives”, he said.
“Besides, violence level has come down significantly. In the hinterland, protests or incidents of stone pelting have reduced,” he said, adding that infiltration at LoC has come down.
He said this in response to a question during an interaction held at India Defence Conclave here.
On other projects, he said the Army is using AI to enhance its capabilities.
“In context of what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir, we have used AI for detecting suspicions vehicles. We have hooked on to databases of regional transport (authorities), so that any alien or foreign vehicle can be tracked. These are some of the projects that have made a very good headway,” he said.
Maintaining a “higher level of operational preparedness at all time” and improving infrastructure, especially along the northern borders, were some of the key lessons from the eastern Ladakh border standoff, he said.
When asked by the host what was the next step after the recent disengagement of Indian and Chinese militaries from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area in eastern Ladakh, he said, “We have made progress in terms of disengagement from friction points. We still have two friction points where we need to move forward.
“We are hopeful as we move forward, talking through both military and diplomatic levels. And, I am sure we will be able to find resolution towards these friction points. That is our immediate aim to disengage from these friction points, before we look at to next step, of perhaps, de-escalation, which will involve pull back of troops.”
Asked what were the key lessons from the standoff, Gen Pande said, one was to “maintain a higher level of operational preparedness at all time”.
“Also, importance of infrastructure development, especially along our northern borders, and I am also referring to areas opposite Arunachal Pradesh or the Eastern Sector, besides Ladakh,” he added.
“We also realised that there is adequate scope for infusion of new technology, and that is something we need to leverage, to enhance our abilities to address challenges in the future,” the Army chief said.
He praised the “tremendous support” the Army received from the IAF in eastern Ladakh, saying, “in a very short time we were able to induct additional troops and heavy equipment, which I feel was very remarkable”.