June 2000 News

Pakistan Army regulars drafted for J&K militancy

17 June 2000
The Hindu

Srinagar: After the humiliating defeat in Kargil, Pakistan and its Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) have adopted a new strategy to give a new lease of life to militancy in Kashmir, which includes induction of their regulars in militancy. Pakistan is also trying to spread its tentacles all over the country and balkanise India. Around 2500 militants are waiting across the border to infiltrate into the country and 300 others are undergoing arms training in different camps. Making these observations at a news conference here Saturday evening, the Chief of Staff at 15 Corps Headquarters, Major General John Ranjan Mukherjee said the Pakistan strategy was to try to bleed India by a thousand cuts, continue to draw international attention and force international intervention in Kashmir. Pakistan was also carrying out subversion in Delhi, Mumbai and some southern States. After the Military coup in Pakistan, their army formations on the Line of Control (LoC) have taken direct control of militants who were being trained at the field firing range and given the latest weapons and communications equipment. As part of the strategy, a number of organisations have been created to divert the attention of the Indian security forces and also prevent any single group from becoming powerful, he said. The latest addition, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) headed by Moulana Masood Azhar, has recruited 5000 people in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) with militants from other outfits also joining it. Pakistan had also set up a number of camps for indoctrination and training of militants. According to Maj. Gen. Mukherjee, there are 123 training camps of which 42 are in Pakistan, 70 in POK and 11 on the Afghanistan border. He said funds for the proxy war are provided mainly by the Islamic countries and the narcotic trade. ''A local terrorist is paid up to Rs. 15,000 per month and a foreign terrorist Rs. 20,000 per month. They are also rewarded for major actions. Pakistan has granted Rs. 50 crore as ex- gratia payment to the kin of slain terrorists,'' he added. The chief of staff said Pakistan was now recruiting army regulars in the militant ranks after retiring them prematurely with retirement benefits. He asserted that after Kargil, the Indian security forces had taken adequate measures to ensure the security of our bases. Anti-militancy operations were being conducted jointly with the BSF, CRPF, ITBP and the State police. He said 325 militants have been killed in Kashmir during the current year and 271 in Jammu. ''This year, we occupied multi-layered anti- infiltration posture well prior to the melting of snows and consequently, infiltration has come down,'' he said adding ''we are also progressively using the latest surveillance means to defeat infiltration.'' The Indian Army had an unsurpassed human rights record, he added. Maj. Gen. Mukherjee, who is likely to take over as the new Commander of 15 corps in a few weeks, said 9424 militants were killed since 1990 and the number of foreigners killed was 1990. During this period, 34232 weapons, which can equip two army divisions, were recovered.


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