J&K infiltration down by 40 per cent Army
17 May 2003
The Hindustan Times
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: Indian Army authorities said infiltration of militants from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is down by at least 40 per cent as compared to the first four months of 2002. There were only 19 infiltration bids between January and April against 30 in the same period last year, the figures, compiled by the army's northern command in Jammu, show. Of these, 13 infiltration bids were neutralised till the end of March and six in April. There had been 13 bids in April 2002, the army said. The decline, army officers say, is due to the thaw in India-Pakistan relations combined with the US pressure on Islamabad to stop cross- border terrorism. At the same time, 'we cannot say this is a trend. We will have to watch the situation for some more time before saying anything with certainty,' a senior army officer told IANS. He pointed out that for every infiltration attempt that was detected across the 742 km LoC, there were at least two that went unnoticed. The army killed 66 infiltrators in the first four months of the year against 77 in the same period last year, army statistics show. The army's contention comes in the wake of statements made both by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes that infiltration of militants from Pakistan had shown a downward trend. But India wants infiltration of militants, who commit terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir, to end for talks between the two countries to resume.