February 2008 News

Pak Plans Renewed Terror Push

8 February 2008

Srinagar: The depletion in militant ranks in Jammu and Kashmir has the Pakistani intelligence apparatus worried about the secessionist movement losing steam. It is actively exploring new infiltration routes to push in more militants into the state and with the snow closing Kashmir, Jammu is the new favourite. For the last one month the Pakistani intelligence has been concentrating on different sectors of the line of control in Jammu to push in more militants. Earlier the focus was on LoC in Kashmir valley, but with snow closing the mountainous passes, the Pakistani army is looking for new routes because they feel that any wait will sound the death knell for militancy in the state. “Snow has closed down the passes in Kashmir and that is why militants are trying to sneak in from Rajouri and Poonch sectors in Jammu region. They are desperately looking for different routes to enter the state. Our alert troops have foiled their designs and killed at least 10 ultras in January,” defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel SD Goswami said in Jammu. The urgency to push in more militants has stemmed from the drubbing the ultras have faced in Kashmir. Security forces last month killed several top ranking commanders including HUJI chief and south Kashmir chief of the Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen. The militants are facing an acute shortage of manpower which has prompted Pakistan to re-devise its strategy and send reinforcements to keep pot boiling.Around 464 militants were killed, 666 arrested and 120 surrendered before security forces in J&K in 2007. The toll among the security forces was 122. “The militant training camps are intact across the line of control. Militants are still being trained and abetted by Pakistan,” said Lt Col Goswami. Figures reveal that around 90 infiltration bids were foiled by the troops on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir in 2007. Around 200 infiltrators were spotted, a few of them killed and others escaped back to Pakistan last year. “There are chances that some of the militants might have sneaked in. The security forces fighting insurgency in the hinterland have to be careful,” said a senior police officer. Even the governor Lt General (retd) SK Sinha cautioned security forces against lowering their guard because conditions in Pakistan are most volatile, with a risk of spilling over to this side. “The neighbouring country has been the epicentre of international terrorism. Almost all acts of terrorism across the world have a Pakistan connection,” said Lt Gen Sinha.

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