24 November, 2020

'Taliban Don't Stand A Chance'

Lt Gen. Krishan Pal, general officer commanding of the 15 Corps in Kashmir, admits there is a large foreign mercenary presence in Kashmir but clarifies that the army is prepared for any threat from the Taliban. Excerpts:

'Taliban Don't Stand A Chance'

Chief minister Farooq Abdullah, among others, have been talking about the Taliban coming to Kashmir. Is there any truth in this?

The Taliban has been coming here as members of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (earlier known as the Harkat-ul-Ansar) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba. We know of training camps in Khost, Afghanistan, where the Harkat has been training. Evidently more of them may be coming. But as far as the Taliban is concerned, I don't think there is anything marvellous that it can do here. It is one thing to fight ragtag forces in Afghanistan who are ill-equipped and ill-trained and to fight one of the best armies in the world. Once they come here they will find it's a different kettle of fish. They don't stand a chance.

Why have foreign mercenaries replaced local militant groups?

The local militant component has been reduced. In Kupwara, where we killed 16 militants recently, only four were locals. In another encounter, of the 10 militants killed, two were locals. So only 20-25 per cent are Kashmiris. The locals are...



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