January 2000 News

Pak takes militancy to new J-K areas

4 January 2000
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

JAMMU: Pakistan is desperately trying to bring hitherto untouched areas of Jammu region on the map of militancy and also attacking Army establishments to push security forces to defensive.

Increasing incidents of violence in Udhampur and Kathua districts and attempts by militants to conduct "suicide" attacks on the security forces camps in Rajouri and Poonch in the recent days, are seen part of these attempts from across the border.

Along side the desperate bids of infiltration by militants from both the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu region.

Maj. Gen. H. S. Kanwar, Chief of Staff 16 Corps, who looks after almost half of 720 km-long LoC and IB, told newsmen here this morning that incidents of killing of village defense committee and police personnel in Udhampur and Kathua districts were the ample evidence of the things to come. He said, "Pakistan wants to stretch its terrorism campaign to Udhampur and Kathua to stretch our resources and manpower."

The revelation of these facts came at a time when the Jammu police have recovered seven missile-shaped rockets which were buried in the bed of river Tawi and were "probably stuffed to be used to target the religious processions and the forthcoming Republic Day function".

DIG Jammu Range S. P. Vaid said: "The clear idea behind dumping and using this arsenal by the militants appears to target the civilians who have no defense against such deadly weaponry."

Regarding attacks on camps of security forces, Maj. Gen. Kanwar said that these were attempts to "put us on defensive and snatch our offensive initiative. But we will continue our offensives and neutralise militants."

The Army has killed 458 militants last year as compared to 357 in 1998.

Fifty eight civilians were killed by militants in 1999  as compared to 160 in the preceding year. There were 72 blasts in Jammu region in which 11 civilians were killed and 85 others were wounded.


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