NATIONAL

'J&K militants have outside support'

Britain's Chief of Defence Army, Gen. Michael Walker, greets Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma at the Army Headquarters in Srinagar on Friday.

Britain's Chief of Defence Army, Gen. Michael Walker, greets Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma at the Army Headquarters in Srinagar on Friday.  

Jammu Sept. 26. The British Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Michael Walker, today visited Jammu and Kashmir and, based on interactions with the Army commanders, said the violence in the State had ``outside support''.

In his one-day trip to Kashmir, Gen. Walker was briefed by the GOC 15 Corps, Lt. General Nirbhay Sharma, and other officers on the situation at the Line of control and within the State. Gen. Walker was supposed to visit the LoC in the Uri sector of north Kashmir but the visit was cancelled and his engagements were limited to the Corps headquarters.

Talking to reporters after meeting senior Army commanders, Gen.Walker, said, ``I was given an elaborate presentation by the senior commanders about the situation in Kashmir. We had a similar problem in our country.''

Asked whether he was convinced that militancy in the State had Pakistan's support, he said, ``Well I have been given certain proof that militants active in the State are getting outside support. As they have the evidence it seems that they (militants) are getting support from across the border.''

Gen. Walker disclosed about the plans of the two armies in the future. He said, ``Both Indian and British armies have a historical relationship between them which cannot be easily dismissed. We share a common past.''

In order to further strengthen the relations 200 troops of both the armies would conduct joint exercises some time in January and February next year.

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