'Terror Camps Across LoC Are Intact'
29 November 2004
The Times of India
New Delhi: The infrastructure in Pakistan for 'exporting terrorists' across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is still intact although incursions have come down, BSF director general Ajai Raj Sharma said here on Monday. 'I can't say the camps have been wound up or that the launch pads (in Pakistan) have been closed,' he told a news conference. 'The camps have been shifted to the hinterland and they are no longer close to the border. They are no longer handled by the (Pakistani) army but by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence),' Sharma said, speaking ahead of the BSF's 39th Raising Day on Wednesday. Said Sharma: 'The number of people being trained (in the camps) has decreased, but at any given time 200-300 terrorists are waiting to cross over to India.' The BSF chief said terrorist incursions across the 742-km Line of Control (LoC) had gone down over the past four months but some terrorists would 'definitely' have succeeded in their efforts to cross over despite the vigil by his force and the Army. 'The problem has decreased but not vanished. Infiltration is a Pakistan-centric problem and it will depend on the mutual relationship (between India and Pakistan),' Sharma said. In the terrorist camps, Sharma said, models had been made of the electrified fence built by the Indian Army along the LoC - which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan - to train terrorists on ways to 'neutralise' it. They are trained to use plastic and wooden ladders and other improvised methods to cross the fence,' he said. 'Training of militants, providing launch pads for infiltration along with moral and material support is being closely calibrated by Pakistan through the ISI,' said a statement issued at the news conference. 'Reports indicate that ISI has organised special training for militants on methods to compromise and negotiate the border fence with the help of various equipment...,' it said. Due to the difficulties faced in sending in more terrorists across the LoC, separatist groups in Kashmir were avoiding 'direct conflicts' with the Indian security forces and striking at 'soft targets', the statement noted.