Srinagar: General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based sensitive 15 Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey on Friday said rest of Kashmir must draw lessons of peace from frontier district Kupwara which was once a hotbed of militancy.
Pandey was visiting Dardpora village, also known as ‘village of widows’. Set close to the Line of Control, Dardpora is home to large number of widows from the initial years of militancy.
“Rest of the Kashmir should take lessons of peace from Kupwara, which has been a victim of terrorism and the population here has just been used by the terror nexus in past.
“Dardpora is an example of the misery that terrorism can wrought upon innocent population and their lives,” the Corps Commander told the media on the sidelines of a function in the village.
“Kupwara district had been the hardest-hit and the people here have suffered the most.
“However, they now understood and it is a lesson for the rest of the people in the union territory,” he added.
Pandey appealed to the youth, who have picked up arms, to return to mainstream.
“The youth who have taken up arms should return to the national mainstream and work for the development of the country and the nation,” he said.
Lt Gen Pandey said militant recruitment has come down in Kashmir.
“Last year there was a drop in recruitment and this year greater decline is expected. The society and media have understood that there is no need of this (taking up arms),” he said.
In Dardpora, a project plan was drawn up by the Army focusing on empowerment of women and youth. A total of nine skill-centres were being run in Kralpura, Panzgam, Warsun and Dardpora.
Two hundred students, including 160 girls, have qualified from the skill centres in the last one year amid Covid outbreak.
Lt Gen Pandey distributed the qualification certificates for the students.
Widows of Dardpora were also given out Iftar gifts, stitching machines and solar lights, the Army said.
The Corps Commander interacted with the villagers and applauded them for their positive outlook, high motivation and strong national spirit and assured them of all possible help from the Army.