16 militants pushed back on LoC19 September 2010
The Daily Excelsior
SRINAGAR: Pakistan army has tried to push 16 hardcore Pakistani and local militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) into Indian territory during two major infiltration attempts in past four days from forward areas of Balnoi and Jhalas in Poonch sector. Both the bids have been foiled by the troops. More such attempts are in the pipeline as a number of militants have been seen in Tetrinote, Madarpur and Mandol areas on the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) opposite Jhalas and Balnoi villages of Poonch sector from where Pakistani troops of Mujahideen Regiment tried to push two groups of eight militants each into Indian side during past four days. Official sources said more than 70 militants have been camping at launching pads in forward areas of LoC opposite Jhalas, Balnoi, Mendhar and Krishna Ghati sectors in Poonch district. Majority of them were believed to be Pakistani cadre of the LeT outfit. Very few of them were locals from Kashmir valley and Doda district, who were affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen. The militants are being fed by Mujahideen Regiment of Pakistan at the launching pads at Tetrinote, Madarpur and Mandol villages opposite Balnoi, Mendhar and Jhalas areas of Poonch, sources said, adding intercepts and Intelligence inputs have indicated that the Mujahideen Regiment has been directed by Pakistan army’s top brass to push the militants as early as possible in view of a massive decline in strength of major militant outfit, LeT in the State. Sources confirmed that during past four days, two groups of eight militants each, have tried to intrude into Indian territory from Balnoi and Jhalas areas under the cover of heavy firing by Pakistan army. The militants had come close to the LoC in a bid to sneak into this side but effective retaliatory firing by the troops have thwarted both intrusion plots in which the militants were equipped with heavy fire arms and explosive devices. In Balnoi sector, troops had recovered a consignment of arms, explosives and fresh eatables and Pakistan made drinks from the LoC, which were abandoned by the infiltrators before fleeing back to PoK due to strict surveillance maintained by the troops. According to sources, Pakistan army was more desperate of pushing infiltrators into Jammu and Kashmir in next two and a half months as intrusions during the months from December to March becomes very difficult due to harsh winter in the mountainous areas. Pakistan army and top militant commanders of LeT and HM have been receiving frequent messages from their left out cadre in the State that their outfits in many districts were at the verge of extinction due to steep decline in their cadre following killing or arrests of a number of ultras by security forces and police and denial by the local youths to join their ranks. During past about one year, there has been very negligible local recruitment in the militant cadre. Few local youths, who had joined the militancy, had returned within few months and surrendered before police, sources said. They added that troops on the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri and the Border Security Force (BSF) at the International Border (IB) from Akhnoor to Kathua were maintaining a high alert anticipating a surge in the infiltration attempts ahead of winter.