Lieutenant General Rajiv Ghai on Wednesday assumed command of the strategic Kashmir-based Chinar Corps.

A Defence Ministry statement said, "On taking over the command, he paid homage at the Chinar Corps Memorial at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar.

"The Lieutenant General addressed and interacted with the troops of Chinar Corps and exhorted them to continue to work with unflinching dedication and perseverance in pursuit of peace and stability in Kashmir.

"He encouraged all ranks to take additional steps required to connect with the citizens in order to jointly work towards peace and development.

According to the statement, Lieutenant General Ghai, an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, was commissioned in December 1989 into the Kumaon Regiment and has had an illustrious military career spanning 33 years during which he has held varied prestigious command, staff and instructional appointments.

"As Colonel General Staff, he has served in the Division deployed for Counter Insurgency Operations in J&K and Brigadier at Military Operations Directorate in Army Headquarters. In his command tenures, he has commanded a Battalion in the Western Sector followed by command of a Brigade and a Division on the Northern Borders.

"He is a postgraduate from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Tamil Nadu), and has done Higher Command Course, Army War College, Mhow, and National Defence College, New Delhi. Prior to this appointment, Lieutenant General Rajiv Ghai held an important appointment in Northern Command as Major General General Staff," the statement said.

On assuming command, Lt Gen Ghai conveyed his greetings to the citizens of Kashmir.

"He reiterated his commitment to closely work with various instruments of civil administration and society to further the cause of peace and prosperity in Kashmir. He expressed hope at the improved security parameters in the Valley and is optimistic that even the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control will further enable improvement of the overall security situation.

"He called for the civil society to come forward and jointly work with the security forces to address the scourge of terrorism.

"Lieutenant General Ghai said that, together with the support of all community members, Kashmir will move a step closer to its glorious past while leaping forward in the development barometers," the statement said.