August 2002 News

ISI backing infiltration

26 August 2002
The Hindu

NEW DELHI: Organised training and infiltration across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir is continuing at the behest of Pakistan''s Inter- Services Intelligence, the Army has claimed on the basis of the interrogation of militants arrested this month. And the Defence Ministry sources here said that the surrender of a militant, intercepted by the Army while attempting to infiltrate across the LoC in the Uri sector on August 22, corroborated this perception. The militant revealed that he formed part of a group of seven infiltrators. On realising that the Army had detected their presence, they had tried to escape to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. But the Army killed two of his compatriots and he surrendered. Officials said this incident further undermined the Pakistani claim that militancy in Kashmir was indigenous. The militants continued to enjoy the support and backing of the ISI. Statistics revealed that in the last two years, 76 and 69 militants had surrendered to the security forces. In contrast, until August 25 this year, 97 militants had surrendered and the figure was likely to rise. In a formulation that has now become standard, officials said these surrenders indicated that the morale of the terrorists was on the decline and that they were being coerced and pressured by the ISI-backed terrorist organisations to make up for their fast depleting strength caused by anti-insurgency operations. Earlier, officers said eight encounters had taken place on the LoC in northern Kashmir during August which was a ''sharp increase'' as compared to the rate of infiltration in July. The terrain was such that the terrorists would not have infiltrated without the active support of the Pakistani security forces.


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