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Unified Command

A Unified Command was formed in Kashmir in 1993. The Unified Command came into being to give a co-ordinated and planned response to the threat of insurgency in Kashmir. As of early 2001, 117 battalions of the Army were deployed in Kashmir. Under the guidance of General Zaki, the Unified Command worked well.

In 1996, Farooq Abdullah became the chief minister, he took over also as head of the unified command, a role played by the Governor (mainly General Krishna Rao) during president's rule. Since the setting up of the Unified Command in J&K in December 1996 (after elections to the State Assembly in September 1996), with the Chief Minister of the State as the Chairman and the General Officers Commanding 15 and 16 Corps as Security Advisers, there has been much greater co-ordination in the fight against militancy. But over time the meetings of the command were few and far between as no one really had any time. There was little professional input and during Kargil, the lack of planning and inputs became evident. A 1999 assessment of the working of the unified command asserts that several disparate security agencies operated under differing "rules of engagement" and "legislated authority" without the legislated means to induce coherence.

The Unified Command, also termed the Unified Headquarters (UHQ), in Kashmir comprises the Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police. The state Chief Minister is the chairman of the Unified Command. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15 and 16 Corps are security advisors to the chairman.

In July 2001 the State Security Council was constituted to have effective co-ordination among various security agencies dealing with Pakistan-backed militants in the State. The Council replaced the Unified Headquarters. Army's Northern Command chief is the Advisor of Chief Minister in his new capacity as State Security Council head. Earlier, the Chief Minister had two Advisors-Corps Commander of Jammu and Corps Commander of Srinagar.



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