Army Put On High Alert In Kargil

Army Put On High Alert In Kargil

28 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: After Chinese incursion in Daulat Baig Oldi (DBO) subsector in Leh, Army in Kargil along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan has been put on high alert to avoid People’s Liberation Army (PLA) type incursion by Pakistan Army in the region, highly placed army sources said here. Sources said that Army does not want to take any chance in Kargil where India and Pakistan fought Kargil war in 1999 after Pakistani army incursions. “Additional troops have been moved closer to the LoC in Drass, Muskov valley, Kaksar, Batalik, Turtuk sectors and patrolling has been intensified to prevent any incursion by Pakistan”, sources added. Since the Chinese incursion in Despang valley in DBO sector where PLA has pitched tents and are holding posts some 19 kilometres inside Indian territory at an altitude of 17,000 feet, troops along the Line of Actual Control in Leh have also been put on alert and LAC patrolling has also been intensified. At the time when Army is tackling the LAC incursions in Leh by PLA, Army does not want Pakistan to take advantage of the situation in nearby Kargil where LoC is still snow bound. The decision to intensify the Army patrols and move additional troops along the LoC in Kargil has been taken after the DBO sub sector incursion and PLA setting up a post at a vantage point which may cause future worries for Indian Army in the subsector. Sources said that since China and Pakistan have close defence ties and besides being friendly countries with Chinese military presence in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Army along the LoC does not want to take any chance and feel that Pakistan may take advantage of the situation developing along LAC in Leh. They said that in the run up to the withdrawal of the United States led NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014, Army sees spill over of battle hardened Punjabi militants who were fighting with Pakistan based Haqqani network in Afghanistan may be diverted to Jammu and Kashmir and Kargil may be familiar territory for those people who have been fighting in Afghanistan for several years. It may be mentioned here that the Army in Jammu and Kashmir has already taken review of the possible spill over of battle hardened fighters from Afghanistan and have intensified the anti-infiltration grid along the 740 kilometre long LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. Army this year has advanced the repair works of the LoC fence that gets damaged due to heavy snowfall, snow avalanches and slides, to stop any possible infiltration in May this year. The patrolling along the LoC has also been intensified to foil any infiltration attempts. In the meantime, Indian Army is trying for third flag meeting with the PLA to resolve the DBO deep incursion issue but due to the freak weather and the PLAs unwillingness it has not taken place yet. So far two flag meetings have taken place but both ended in deadlock. One meeting was held on April 18 in Chushul during which Indian Army commander raised the issue of intrusion with their Chinese counterpart. But the PLA commander rejected Indian Army claim of any intrusion in Indian territory. Another flag meeting was held in DBO sector on April 23 and it also ended in deadlock with PLA countering Indian Army claim and asking it to stop activities along LAC in Leh.