Foreign mercenaries still infiltrating: Maj Gen Jaswal
11 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Foreign terrorists are still infiltrating into this side of the Line of Control (LoC) despite the fact that most of the border areas including the LoC have been fenced. General Officer Commanding (GOC) of an Infantry Division located in forward area of Akhnoor and parts of Sunderbani, Maj Gen B S Jaswal during an informal chat with the visiting media-persons disclosed that out of the five terrorists killed recently by troops in the upper reaches of Jogwan and Battal across river Manawar, three were believed to be foreigners. He said though no concrete evidence was available, yet it was established from their physical appearance and the diaries and other material in their possession that they were foreigners. He claimed that almost entire stretch of the LoC falling in his area of operation under 10 Division, has been fenced. There are some areas and nullahs which have remained unplugged but there is sufficient force to check the infiltration and exfiltration. It is not easy to cross the LoC but the ultras who come on suicide mission, can do any damn thing at the cost of their lives. Moreover, despite innumerable hurdles they manage to slip into this side taking advantage of ground position, weather and even the support of Pak troops, he elaborated. Responding to a question, Maj Gen Jaswal said though there has been ceasefire agreement between the two countries, yet there is not much change visible on the ground level. There is no decline in the infiltration and it is not possible without the active support of the security and intelligence agencies operating on that side of the border. He said there is no decline in intrusion despite ceasefire agreement. Asked whether he trusts Musharraf or not, Gen Jaswal quipped, ' As an Army officer I do not believe Gen Musharraf, there has been lot of difference in his claims and the ground situation as we are experiencing here. Infiltration is not possible without the active support from that side and truth can not be denied,' he maintained. Referring to the army operation in upper Jogwan mountaineous region, the GOC said their intrusion could not be traced and even indicated by the censors. They were believed to have used some anti-censor devices or other specialised equipment but there was no trace or recovery of any such material from their possession and not even during search of the dominated forest area. He said there was no possibility of escaping any militant from the area cordoned. The area dominated by the group was tightened and surrounded with the timely and swift action by troops. The strategy of the formation commanders involved in the operation helped the army to eliminate all the trapped ultras in the forest. In response to another question, he said rains and the flooded nullahs and of course, the tough terrain provide additional advantage to infiltrators. From the evidence and the intelligence inputs received so far, it was established that apparent motive of the ultras neutralised near Jogwan was to target Amarnath yatra and other defence installations in Jammu and Akhnoor sectors.