January 2002 News

PoK hi-tech centres continue despite ban

27 January 2002
The Tribune

JAMMU: Transmission towers of the four major communication centres, run by various outlawed militant outfits, across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir (PoK) stand tall in defiance of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's stern diktat of cracking hard on militancy emanating from his country's soil. Highly-placed security sources told UNI here this morning that these hi-tech communication centres being nm by outlaws enable the Mujahideen commanders to communicate with their frontline cadres deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to carry out massive subversive strikes. The four major communication centres which have been identified in PoK are in Zaffarwal, Samani, Kotli and Kahuta areas and are within two kilometers of the LoC. The centre in Zaffarwal is being run exclusively by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ultras and the Samani centre is manned by Mujahideens of almost all outfits. The Kotli centre is operated by the ultras of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HUJI) and the Kahuta centre jointly by the Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, sources said. They said recent inputs reveal that only the technically-savvy cadres are primarily entrusted with the task of manning these centres, which were built by the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) in collaboration with the technical corps of the Pakistan Army about three years back. In the early years of militancy, the ultras used vintage radio sets for communication. But with various outfits solidifying into organised groups, the ISI began arming them with latest in communication to avoid detection and centres were built to enable various Mujahideen commanders to fortify their operational bases in the Kashmir valley, sources said. Recent inputs from across the LoC reveal that apart from using brands like Kenwood and YEASU high-frequency radio sets, the ultras are reportedly using high frequency transmission centres which are concealed in the deep ravines of the Pir Panjal range. Sources inform that the security experts in Jammu and Kashmir have taken adequate measures including jamming the high radio frequencies to frustrate their coordination network which leaves the ultras clueless. In fact, the elusive Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Ghazi Baba was forced to abandon radio communication with his cadres which left to his men clamouring for his whereabouts. Sources said recent intercepts of the cadres of various militant outfits reveal that their morale is down and they have been heard arguing with their higher-ups of various orders. With heavy snowfall in the high mountains freezing the passes, the frontline cadre have been left high and dry. The unprecedented troop deployment has effectively rebuffed Pakistani attempts to pump in money and weaponry from both across the LoC and the International Boundary (IB). Moreover, some spectacular successes notched up by the Special Operation Group (SOG) and the Special Task Force (STF) have also reportedly taken a heavy toll. on the morale of various outlay operating within and without state, sources added.


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