December 2001 News

Army readies to move troops to J&K

17 December 2001
The Hindustan Times
Vishal Thapar

New Delhi: Five special trains were requisitioned by the Indian Army to enable troop movement from Secunderabad to Jammu on Monday evening. This is in response to reports about Pakistani brinkmanship in massing two corps of additional troops along the international border and Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir over the last 72 hours. The Pakistan Army has also reportedly moved heavy armour and artillery close to the border, and cancelled the Id leave of its troops in the move, which was seen as ''sabre-rattling''. The South-Central Railways were asked to line up five trains at a three-hour notice on Monday. This followed a statement by External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh on Monday afternoon after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security that the government was aware of the Pakistani troop movement along the border. Army authorities in New Delhi played down the mobilisation, describing it as a ''purely preventive measure''. The armed forces have been put on ''high-alert'' after the 10 and 30 Corps of the Pakistan Army were deployed in strike formations along the border. The forces also favours more ''robust rules of engagement'' against terrorists in the current situation. PTI adds: There is a heavy build-up opposite Jammu, Poonch and Pathankot corridor in particular and other areas in general, sources said. ''The Pakistani troops continued their build-up even after completing their winter exercise some time back,'' the sources said and added that they continued to be retained in several sectors, including north and south-east of Sialkot, Jalalpur, Gujranwala and Mirpur Kharian.


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