October 2003 News

Pak raising special militant groups to target J&K hills

13 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU: Pakistan is raising ‘special militant groups’ to target mountainous terrains along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir by imparting them training in high altitude mountains and snow bound warfare in federally administered tribal areas bodering Afghanistan, top security force sources said. Militants drawn from Lashker-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami, Al-Badr and tribals of north west frontier province and Fata were being given practical training in high altitude mountain warfare in Hamw schools at Wazirstan, Khyber, Bajaur and Kurram in Fata, the sources said. Run by Pakistan’s Northern Frontier Light Infantry (NFLI) brigade, these mountain warfare schools are training 'militants in guise of soldiers drawn from Gilgat, NWFP and Fata for the last four months to Hoodwink international community,' they said. These training schools are being financed by drug barons of golden cresent, popularly known as ‘Maliks of Fata’, who had extended financial help to warring Afghan groups during the war with Russia as well as Talibans, churned by Markaz-e- Dawaza, the sources said. 'The aim of training militants in special high altitude, mountain and snow bound warfare is aimed to target the mountainous and snow-bound terrains along the LoC in J&K during the coming winter,' they said, adding 'they may be used to carry out special operations like Kargil intrusion in J&K hills.' The NFLI brigade, which looks after operational area opposite to Siachen- Kargil-Ladakh sector of J&K and was the main brain behind Kargil intrusion, was training militants in these schools in mountain warfare, the sources said. A four-month crash course is being imparted to these militants and the first batch would soon be out to be used for sabotage operation in high altitude areas in J&K borders, they said. Evidence and intelligence reports collected on these activities further said American M-16 assault rifles, 7 MM-automatic sub-machine guns, Chinese rocket launchers, special American air defence guns and even shoulder fired stinger missles were being used in training and some of these would be given to them for use in J&K. Eighty-five terrorist training camps and 129 launching pads have also been revived in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, they added. (PTI)


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