Stepping up efforts to infiltrate terrorists into India, Pakistan has identified and picked up several locals from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir for indoctrination and military training at terrorist camps based in its country, officials said.
Security forces have recently received reports pointing out that Pakistan has taken about 150 to 200 locals of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to terrorist facilities for training. These individuals are likely to be infiltrated into India to carry out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, beef up the terrorist ranks and build up the local support base. The aim of selecting Kashmiris is to portray terrorism in J&K as an internal problem. This move comes amid dwindling numbers of terrorists in J&K in light of regular hard intelligence based operations against them.
It follows an uproar in Pakistan against India’s move to ‘nullify’ Article 370 and bifurcate J&K into two union territories. Pakistan announced downscaling diplomatic ties with India and suspending bilateral trade. Security forces believe that while the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) and in J&K’s hinterland is ‘calm’, Pakistan will attempt to heat up the border with India and fuel civil unrest. Pakistan has been regularly attempting to push terrorists into J&K and opens fire at Indian posts along the LoC to assist them. Terrorist camps that were empty have been witnessing an increase in strength with adequate weaponry. Launch pads have moved closer to the LoC.
In the past couple of days, there have been instances of infiltration attempts, including a Border Action Team (BAT)- targets Indian patrols and posts- in Keran sector. Five to seven members of the BAT were killed. Four bodies are lying in the open there. The Pakistan Army has not responded to the Indian Army’s offer to take back the bodies. “They are unlikely to, because if they do it would mean that they accept sending them,” explained an official.
“These nefarious designs of Pakistan along the LoC are their frustrated efforts in response to the changes made in J&K. It puzzled them. Even if the border hots up, how long will it be for!” said an official.
Defence Minister on Thursday minced no words while speaking about Pakistan. “You can change your friends, but you cannot change your neighbour. May God never give anyone a neighbour like we have,” Singh said without naming Pakistan.
While he added that the armed forces are prepared to meet any threat, security arrangements could be relaxed in certain places in Kashmir for the Friday prayers and Eid-ul-Zuha on August 12. This will also allow security forces to gauge the mood of the public. In an effort to help them, the army’s company operating bases in J&K are providing medicines to them. Airport passes given are being considered as security passes to move through the security barricades and enter the airport in Srinagar. “We have satellite phones for civilians to use for communication. Our patrols comprise of doctors, who can provide medical assistance to the public,” said an official.
But, forces which are in very high numbers will be on high alert to prevent protests and stone pelting incidents. The government has imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prevents the assembly of more than four people at a place. This is especially for the trouble hotspots.