JAMMU, Sept 13: Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, Northern Army Commander, issued a stern warning on Wednesday regarding Pakistan's persistent efforts to destabilize the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). He emphasized that Pakistan is perturbed by the region's development, peace, and the increasing number of tourists, leading them to make continuous attempts to infiltrate terrorists into the area in order to disrupt the prevailing peace.
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi made these remarks while responding to media inquiries during the closing ceremony of the three-day North Tech Symposium in Nagrota. He assured that the Indian Army is fully prepared to thwart Pakistan's disruptive designs and maintain peace in J&K.
"Our forces have been effectively neutralizing terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC)," stated Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi. He emphasized the readiness of the Indian Army and its determination to thwart any attempts by Pakistan to disturb peace in J&K.
Lt Gen Dwivedi reiterated Pakistan's concerted efforts to disrupt peace and progress in J&K by sending foreign terrorists into the region. However, he assured that the Indian security forces are fully prepared to meet any challenges posed by such attempts.
Highlighting the importance of tourism in the region, Lt Gen Dwivedi mentioned that in 2022, over 1.88 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed the goal of welcoming 2.25 crore tourists to J&K this year. Pakistan's attempts to disrupt this development and hinder the growth of J&K were condemned by the Northern Army Commander, who asserted that such efforts would not be allowed to succeed.
Meanwile, Lt Gen Dwivedi also paid tribute to the six-year-old sniffer dog 'Kent' who laid down her life in an encounter with terrorists in the dense forests of Rajouri. He praised Kent's bravery, stating that the loyal canine had laid down his life to protect his handler, embodying the true spirit of the Indian.
The female Labrador-type dog of 21st Army dog unit was killed on Tuesday while trying to save her handler in the Union Territory's Rajouri district.
"Kent was leading a column of soldiers pursuing fleeing terrorists. It was shot dead by hostile fire," a defence official said.
Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi said, "Our Kent laid down her life to save her handler. She attacked the terrorist by moving ahead first."
Two terrorists and one Army soldier were killed, while three other security personnel - two Army jawans and one special police officer - were injured in the encounter in the district's Narla village. Kent led the charge in 'Operation Sujaligala'.
Kent's body was wrapped in the tricolour, a wreath laid on it as Army personnel paid their last respects to her on Wednesday.
Carrying an Army number 08B2, golden-coloured Kent was a special tracker dog which participated in its first operation on Poonch link up day on November 14 last year, followed by the induction in operation on December 30 last year, a press brief released by the Army said.
Kent took part in search operations on January 27, September 11 and an investigation into a theft case on April 4.
She also took part in refresher courses and several training sessions to refine her skills.
"Kent laid down her life in the best traditions of the Indian Army while shielding its handler," an official had said on Tuesday. (Inputs from PTI)