July 2001 News

Pak bid to overrun BSF outpost foiled

25 July 2001
The Pioneer

New Delhi: Pakistan resorted to heavy firing in Ranbir Singh Pura and Akhnoor sectors in Jammu on Monday night in a bid to overwhelm the Border Security Force (BSF) on the international border there. The firing continued till the early hours of Tuesday and the BSF retaliated and repulsed the attack. The idea behind this unprovoked firing, which saw the Pakistanis firing more than 10,000 rounds, was to overwhelm the BSF posts, a flash message from the senior BSF officers to the government here said. The BSF, however, did not suffer any casualties, it was learnt here. The report said the Pakistanis resorted to firing in a bid to step up tension on the international border after the failure of the Agra summit. The Pakistani Rangers came right up to their side of the international border and fired from automatic weapons including medium machine guns. They were also assisted by the regular Pakistani army troops in this act, in violation of all international norms and bilateral treaties, sources said here on Wednesday. Anticipating such a move by Pakistan, the BSF had stepped up vigil on the international border in the last one week. Specially trained BSF troops were also pressed into service at vulnerable positions to augment troop strength, it was learnt. The security forces were redrawing their strategy to face the fresh onslaught of the so-called jehadi groups from across the border. Pakistan, moreover, had started shelling Indian positions on the Line of Control (LOC) after a break of six months. This firing besides leading to rise in tension on the LOC also helped the militants to sneak into India from the mountain passes. This phenomenon was also reported on the international border in the Jammu sector, officials said here. Admitting the fact that the number of inflitrations had increased in the last two months, officials said the Indian security forces would have to display the will and stamina to defeat the jehadis on the ground. The security managers were constantly finetuning the strategy of counter-insurgency grid in the strife-torn State. While some redeployment had taken place in the last few weeks, the Government was now working on the ''one-border-one-force'' proposal mooted by the Group of Ministers on national security. The security forces also had to dispel the myth gaining currency in Kashmir valley that the jehadis had gained the upper hand in the low intensity conflict, officials said. This objective could be achieved by sustaining pressure on militants by denying them bases in urban and rural areas. The security forces had started patrolling vulnerable areas, including the hilly regions.


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