Army Chief calls for political solution to end Kashmir violence

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New Delhi, June 30 (ANI): Army Chief General V K Singh has said that a political solution is required to end the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I feel there is a great requirement for political initiatives that take all people together," General Singh told the Times of India in an interview.

"Militarily, we have brought the overall internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir under control. Now, the need is to handle things politically," he said.

He said the armed forces are required to undertake operations in very difficult circumstances.

"If the Jammu and Kashmir situation has come under control, it's the forces which have sacrificed with their blood," he added.

He said local police needed to be more active to allow the army, currently numbering about 500,000, to reduce its presence in the region.

He further said the Pakistan army also remains steadfast in its Kashmir agenda, resorting to its old policy of giving 'covering or distracting fire' to help militants sneak across the LoC.

General Singh's comments come at a time when the peace and reconciliation process in Kashmir valley has taken a major hit with the killing of eight youth in security related firing.

Curfew is still in place in most areas, including Sopore, Anantnag and Baramulla Districts. Restrictions under Section 144, which prohibit the assembly of over four persons, are in place in and around Srinagar and Baramulla Districts.

Additional security forces have been deployed in Sopore, Baramulla and downtown Srinagar.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has invited Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to visit the state to review security and take steps to end the violence. (ANI).

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