In a very significant statement, Army Chief General MM Naravane said there is a rise in the number of military equipment from Afghanistan being seized in Kashmir.
Since the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August last year, the security establishment has feared that terrorists from Afghanistan and military equipment will find its way into Kashmir.
“When the previous Taliban regime was there in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, we did have a little spillover. We had captured or killed Afghan terrorists (in Kashmir) also,” General Naravane said. He was speaking at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) event ‘Raisina Dialogue’ in Delhi.
He added that terrorists from Afghanistan have not come to Kashmir so far.
In August 2019, the Union government abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir and reorganised the state into two union territories: Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Terming it a major cause of concern, General Naravane said, “There is definitely an increase in the number of weapons and other equipment, especially night-vision devices that we are capturing or unearthing, which definitely have come from Afghanistan.”
The US-led NATO forces fled Afghanistan in August last year and left behind military equipment which was used by the forces for carrying out operations against terrorists in the country.
CNN reported on Thursday (April 28) that according to a Pentagon report, the US has left behind military equipment in Afghanistan worth USD 7 billion.
“This equipment is now in a country that is controlled by the very enemy the US was trying to drive out over the past two decades: the Taliban. The Defense Department has no plans to return to Afghanistan to “retrieve or destroy” the equipment, reads the report, which has been provided to Congress,” reported CNN.
The US gave $18.6 billion of equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) from 2005 to August 2021, of which equipment worth $7.12 billion remained in Afghanistan after the US fled in August last year. It includes aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, weapons, communications equipment and other materials.
Talking about the Ukraine conflict, General Naravane said the current crisis in Ukraine shattered two myths: First, that conventional wars are passe and second, pressure from the international community will bring closure to a war.
The conventional war between Russia and Ukraine has already entered its third month. In the last week of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.