May 2005 News

Advanced Terror Training Across LoC

23 May 2005
The Statesman

Srinagar: With the onset of the summer and the melting of the snow over the passes along the Line of Control, security forces are readying themselves for a 'hot summer' this year with infiltration from across the LoC expected to rise in the coming days. What is specially bothering the counter-insurgency grid operating in Jammu and Kashmir is the latest bit of Intelligence inputs that has come from across the LoC: Not only have hundreds of militants gathered at various launching pads set up all along the LoC in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir, but many of them are getting rigorous advanced training in cutting and penetrating the fencing which has come up on the border in J&K for the past few months. The training includes use of plastic ladders to scale electric fences, and the use of rubber suits and gloves to negotiate electrified fences. Notwithstanding the fact that the peace process between India and Pakistan is on and many confidence building measures are being taken by both countries to strengthen bilateral ties, reports that hundreds of terrorists are being imparted such advanced level training at Bagh, Rawalkote, Kotli, Gulpur, Aliabad, Halanshumali, Padhar, Halan, Kaliar, Forwad Kahuta and Kacharban, across Poonch district in Jammu region, have startled the security agencies. 'Though General Musharraf had given the impression that the Pakistani military had clamped down on the terrorist infrastructure, we always knew that some kind of covert support to the terrorists would always remain in place in Pakistan,' said a senior Army officer posted in Poonch, adding that apprehensions regarding continued training of terrorists have been proved right. Intelligence reports further said that around 200 terrorists are located at the Bagh terrorist training camp across Poonch, while their number is between 100 and 120 at the Rawalkote camp. In Kotli, some 35 terrorists are being readied to cross over to India after training. And in Gulpur, around 100 more are being groomed for their future missions. The terrorists' number at the Aliabad camp is put at 70 to 80, at Halanshumali between 50 and 60, at Padhar 40 to 50, at Halan between 50 and 60, at Kaliar between 40 and 50, at Kacharban some 25 more. The number of terrorists remain unknown at the Forwad Kahuta camp. Sources said the Pakistani army is continuing to help the terrorists and before pushing them across the LoC, they are keeping the terrorists at the launching pads. 'Pakistan army's help to them has come to the fore again as we have tracked many such militants crossing over the LoC very close to Pakistani army posts. We catch their movements on Hand Held Thermal Images which clearly show that the infiltrating terrorists are moving very close to the Pakistani posts. The Army commander of Northern Command, Lt-Gen. Hari Prasad, also feels that violence may rise this summer because the terrorists want to keep their separatist movement alive. 'Terrorists would not like the present happy situation (of people to people contact being renewed across the border) to continue,' he said and added that the terrorists are now banking more on attacks on civilians, apart from targeting the security forces and their informers.


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