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Army commander: Revocation of J&K special status helped restore faith in govt


General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lieutenant General Y K Joshi on Friday said the government’s move to revoke the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had helped restore faith of the people in government institutions.

Speaking on the occasion of Army Day at an event in Udhampur, Lt Gen Joshi said, “The abrogation of Article 370 and improvement in governance thereof, has been a major game-changer and helped restore faith of the common people in the institutions of government.” He added that the recently-held District Development Council elections in the UT of J&K “conveyed the resolve of the awaam (populace) to shun separatism and embrace democracy’’.

On August 5, 2019, the BJP-led Central government revoked the special status granted to the state of J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.

The government then moved to establish a three-tier Panchayati Raj system in J&K by holding DDC polls in the last quarter of 2020.

In his address, Lt Gen Joshi said the Army too had played a role in “creating an ecosystem and normalcy in which people can resume and live their lives normally” despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Pointing out that Operation Sadbhavana had been pivotal in providing job opportunities and education to the youth, he said, “We are making a lot of efforts to win over the youth by giving them better opportunities in education and employment.”

Speaking of the challenges faced by troops of the Northern Command, Joshi said, “First, we have the Western adversary that is Pakistan and which has not yet relented from producing terror as an instrument of State policy. Second, we have Northern borders where we have seen Chinese belligerents along the LAC where they tried to alter the status quo and which has been contested with resolve and courage by the Indian Army; and third, the internal situation in J&K, which is stable now, but can flare up anytime.”

On the situation at the LAC in Ladakh, he said, “I am extremely satisfied with all the actions the Northern Command has taken towards the end of August 29-30.” He said the command is at a position of operational advantage, negotiating with China’s PLA from a position of equivalence.

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