Baramulla: Asserting that there are around 200 active terrorists present in Kashmir valley, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey hoped that the security forces will be able to reduce this number by the end of this year.

“There are around 200 terrorists who are currently present in Kashmir valley. I am hopeful that we will be able to reduce this number by the end of 2021. Our motive is to end militancy in Kashmir in order to create a militancy free environment for the common people who want to live peacefully,” Lt Gen Pandey on Thursday told reporters on the side line of a functions in north Kashmir district of Kupwara.

Answering a question, the top Army commander said ceasefire agreement was reached so that the people living along the Line of Control (LoC) should lead a peaceful life. “Whenever ceasefire violation happened along the LoC, people used to suffer. People used to be the main target during the ceasefire violation,” he added.

India and Pakistan released a joint statement announcing a ceasefire along the LoC from February 25, 2021, following talks between their Directors General of Military Operations.

“Today’s day is for Ashutosh (an Army colonel who was killed in an encounter with terrorists last year) and the people of Handwara. Ashutosh used to love the people of Handwara and the people of Handwara used to love Ashutosh,” he said.

He said the vision of Col Ashutosh and the people of Handwara that the children in the border district should get good education and become better citizens of the country would be fulfilled.