August 2003 News

'Peace' Crawls Into Valley

28 August 2003
The Statesman

New Delhi: Terrorist activity along the Line of Control continues, but on a reduced scale - the year 2003 has, despite the odd massacre, been a good year, and August, a good month till now. The situation is somewhat better compared to 2001 or 2002. In 2001, there were 185 infiltration bids and 442 terrorists were killed. In 2002, the number was 287 and in 2003, it is 125 till now. The number of exfiltration (terrorists going back to Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Pakistan after their assignments) were 33 in 2001, 24 in 2002, and 14 in 2003. In comparison, infiltration was down to 85 bids in 2002. There were 11 exfiltration efforts. So far, up to the end of August 2003, there have been 46 infiltration and 7 exfiltration bids: a considerable improvement from 2001 and slightly better than last year. Even a monthly comparison appears reasonably favourable. Infiltration peaked in June 2001 with 38 bids and it was followed by 29, 27, 25, and 14 bids in the next three or four months. Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had come for the Agra summit at the time. In 2002, the equivalent numbers are 4, 6, 14, 14, and 13 or a total of 51 compared to 95 of the previous year. In comparison, the figures up to August this year are 6, 10, and 11. There could be increased activity in September and perhaps, October, but after that, winter sets in and the passes in north J&K close. Terrorist activity becomes a little more difficult in winter though some fighting could go on in Jammu and adjoining areas. As a result, there is a possibility of the number of infiltration bids being fewer than 85 this year. Infiltration was virtually non-existent (only one attempt) in February 2001, which was just after Gen. Musharraf's first speech in the wake of Operation Parakram and international pressure. There was another considerable dip in June last year (four attempts) after India virtually went to war after the Kaluchak killings. Another significant pointer is the exfiltration figure (zero) in October last year, when J&K went to the polls. A senior army officer said the figures do not necessarily show that terrorist training camps in PoK or Pakistan are being closed down.

 

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