Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 1 (ANI): Indian Army Lieutenant General BS Raju on Monday welcomed the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, stating that the decision has 'immense' potential to bring peace in the border areas.
"The ceasefire observance decision is a positive step and has an immense potential to bring peace in the lives of people living in the border areas. We have had many civilian casualties due to ceasefire violations in Kupwara and Uri. The decision has also given us a better capacity to check infiltrations," the Lieutenant General said.
"I think the situation in the Valley remains fairly normal. I have no hesitation in saying that all the parameters of violence, whether in terms of stone-pelting, agitations or bandhs, everything has seen a very distinct drop. People are going about their business in the usual manner, whether it is trades people, or school children," he said commenting on the overall situation in the Valley.
When asked about the recruitments of local youth in militancy, he said, "With better outreach programs by Army, civil administration and Police, we have been able to establish greater trust and connect with public. I believe this will manifest into lower (terrorist) recruitments. I believe we, security forces, elected representatives, grassroots representatives, and the people themselves, have to work together to ensure peace in the region."
He further higlighted that after the restoration of 4G Internet connectivity, there has not been a major surge in the attempts to use social media to recruit people in militancy. "While Pakistan and inimical elements have always used propaganda to agitate minds, locals are shunning those paths now," he said.
On Thursday, India and Pakistan had released a joint statement saying that they have held discussions regarding establishing a mechanism for hotline contact among both nations. Both sides also agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC starting from February 25. (ANI)