New Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Friday that peace is returning to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, months after the contentious Article 370 was rescinded by the Centre, led by BJP.
However, Pakistan-backed terrorists attempt to infiltrate the area almost daily, he said.
He touched upon the topic of nukes too.
In a landmark move, BJP stripped J&K of its special status in August 2019 and bifurcated it into union territories. The contentious article had only given wings to terrorism, the saffron party said.
But to avoid any untoward incident, a large number of forces were deployed in the area.
Communication modes were also suspended and a large number of politicians detained.
The communication blackout in the Valley sparked human rights concerns, but BJP defended it saying it shouldn't be seen as a punishment but a precaution to keep terrorists at bay.
Reflecting the same emotion, Naravane said, "Terror activity and stone-pelting have reduced drastically. The law-and-order situation is improving and we expect it to improve further."
He assured infiltration attempts were being thwarted every day.
"There are 200-250 terrorists waiting to cross over into J&K. Infiltration attempts are being made every day, but we are thwarting them," Naravane, who took office on December 31, said. To note, he will go to Siachen Glacier next week, for his first outstation tour.
According to Naravane, the 2016 surgical strikes, and Balakot airstrikes of February 2019, sent a message to Pakistan that it needs to take down terror launch pads.
However, when he was reminded that the Balakot camp has been reactivated and asked what the strikes achieved, Naravane replied, "A lot of destruction happened there...They will show restraint before taking escalatory action."
On India going the nuclear way after Balakot operation, Naravane said, "Nuclear weapons have been a good deterrence. That's where their role ends. On two or three occasions, we have carried out operations without letting the nuclear portion come into play."
Pakistan repeatedly warns India of a nuclear attack if its forces cross over the border for punitive action.
Naravane also dismissed talks about the political nature of forces and said they will always remain apolitical.
His statement assumes significance as days before his predecessor Bipin Rawat demitted office he sparked a controversy by giving his opinion on anti-CAA protests.
Later, Rawat, who's India's first CDS said, "We (Army) keep ourselves away from politics. We work on the directives of the government."
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