Hi-tech ultras now use satellite, cell phones
14 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Following frequent interception of their messages, Pakistan army has converted communication system of its sponsored militants hi-tech by equipping them with satellite and cellular telephones and use of internet. Recently, army authorities have also noticed the use of Radio Wire Integration (RWI) with ISD by the militants to 'safely communicate' their messages across the border. 'Pakistanís Communication Ministry, on the directions of its army and the ISI, has recently installed the cell phone towers close to Line of Control and International Border near Jammu and Kashmir to increase signal of the cell phones. This has been done to ensure that sophisticated cell phones provided to the militants operate in parts of J&K, atleast in the areas close to LoC so that the militant commanders could easily talk to their bosses in PoK', army officials said. 'We have noticed increased use of satellite telephones, internet, cellular phones and e-mail among the militants in several areas across the State. A number of such equipments have also been seized by army after encounters with the militants', they said, adding the facilities of internet and satellite phones have been provided only to the chief commanders while cellular phones have been given to the militants upto the rank of district commanders. They said the militants used to convey their messages in codes. The coded messages, they added, are sent with the intentions that even if they are intercepted by the security forces, it take time to de-code them. According to army officials, another significant phenomenon observed in communication system of the militants is use of RWI with ISD, which is done to 'safely and clearly communicate' their messages across the border. RWI or Radio Wire Integration is used to connect a radio set to a telephone line, which is the latest form of improved communication system of the militants. 'Re-structuring of militant communication infrastructure has been carried out to improve quality and security of communication and achieve higher deniability', the sources said. They added that the militants have also re-named some of their communication control stations. However, according to sources, army authorities too used to frequently upgrade their communication system especially in the border areas to intercept messages of the militants. 'Half of the successful operations are based on the intercepts', they said. Meanwhile, another set of figures released by the Army authorities revealed magnitude of the militancy during last 13 years. As per the figures, security forces and police have so far recovered over 72,000 tons of explosives across the State since 1990. Over 31,000 weapons, mostly the rifles, have also been recovered from the militants and their hideouts over the period, they said. An all time high 3449 rifles were recovered in the year 1995 while the lowest number of riflesí recoveries was 217, which was made in the year 2001. This year (upto September), 1219 rifles have been recovered by the army. Recoveries of deadly rifles started in the year 1990 with army finding 1801 weapons from the possession of militants. Recoveries jumped to 2307 in 1991 and 3290 in 1992. Recoveries of rifles stood at 2551 in 1993 and 3017 in 1994 while it was maximum at 3449 in 1995, the sources said. In the year 1996, security forces recovered 2281 weapons followed by 1999 weapons in 1997 and 1799 weapons in 1998. Recoveries in the year 1999 were 1644 and 1949 in 2000, 217 in 2001 and 2077 in 2002.