Infiltration Attempts Before Snow Melts Unusual: Chidambaram

8 April 2009

New Delhi: Even as the Taliban threat looms large, an 'unusual phenomenon' of terror groups including Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaishe-e-Mohammed making attempts to infiltrate their cadres has been observed along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir even before the snow has melted. This was stated by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in an interview to CNN-IBN during which he mentioned that since 'Taliban is deep in Pakistan' it can be said they are closer to the country's border. Asked about the infiltration in Kashmir Valley, the Home Minister said terror groups including Lashker, Jaish, Hizbul Mujahideen were now operating in tandem. 'Whether they were under the control of Taliban or any other state or non-state actor, I cannot say,' the Home Minister said, adding that so far the security forces have been able to thwart the infiltration attempts. Chidambaram, however, did not rule out links between jihadis and Taliban. He also described as 'an unusual phenomenon' the attempt to infiltrate even when the snows have not melted and termed it as 'worrying'. He said the infiltrators will try to cause mayhem when politicians are moving during election time when they are more exposed. 'We have specific intelligence that infiltrators will try to disrupt elections and cause violence.' On Congress President Sonia Gandhi and SPG protectees cancelling roadshows due to terror threats, Chidambaram said they will address rallies and meetings 'but I cannot rule out roadshows...' Underlining the need to depoliticise war against terror, he said, 'We cannot fight terrorism without first fighting communalism. Much of the sources of terror and many of the targets of terror are in a way religion'. Chidambaram, who took over the Home Ministry in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, said, 'We are better prepared and are becoming better prepared to fight terror. Our response should be swifter and more decisive.' Asked about influx from Bangladesh, he said people crossing over for jobs is not a matter for worry but militants or separatists coming to India to do violence was a different issue.