Pak re­ac­ti­vates 7 launch pads on LoC to push in 275 ji­hadis

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Front Page - Aarti Tikoo Singh & Ro­han Dua

New Delhi: Pak­istan has re­ac­ti­vated its ter­ror camps and seven launch pads along the Line of Con­trol to push around 275 ter­ror­ists, in­clud­ing Afghan and Pash­tun mer­ce­nar­ies, into J&K. The move comes ahead of the meet­ing of global ter­ror fi­nance watch­dog Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force next month when Pak­istan’s fate would be de­cided.

Though the in­volve­ment of Afghan and Pash­tun ji­hadists in cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism in Kash­mir is not un­prece­dented, it is quite un­usual, top in­tel­li­gence sources told TOI.

Pak­istan first be­gan pus

hing for­eign mer­ce­nar­ies of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties into Kash­mir in 1990 when it launched cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism as a proxy war against In­dia in the Val­ley. How­ever, af­ter the ag­gres­sive counter-ter­ror op­er­a­tions con­ducted by In­dian se­cu­rity forces against for­eign ter­ror­ists, Pak­istan be­gan send­ing ter­ror­ists from mostly eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties of Pun­jab and POK.

Of­fi­cial doc­u­ments ac­cessed ex­clu­sively by TOI re­veal that there are cred­i­ble in­puts that the Pak army and ISI have set up launch pads along the LoC with the max­i­mum num­ber of ter­ror­ists pre­pared to in­fil­trate through Gurez sec­tor in north Kash­mir.

Across the LoC, around 80 ter­ror­ists are camp­ing near Gurez, 60 in Mach­hal, 50 in Kar­nah, 40 in Keran, 20 in Uri, 15 in Naugam and 10 in Ram­pur, top in­tel­li­gence sources said.

Af­ter the Jaish-e-Muham­mad sui­cide bomb­ing in Fe­bru­ary this year in Pul­wama, TOI was the first to re­port that Pak­istan had in­stantly shut down its ter­ror camps and launch­pads along the LoC and moved ter­ror­ists of var­i­ous out­fits to army in­stal­la­tions fear­ing in­ter­na­tional scru­tiny and re­tal­i­a­tion from In­dia. As a re­sult, In­dia launched airstrikes on Jaish’s camps deep in­side Pak­istani ter­ri­tory in Balakot.

Since Don­ald Trump be­came US pres­i­dent, Pak­istan has been un­der tremen­dous pres­sure to crack down

on ter­ror groups. FATF has put Pak­istan in the “greylist” and this sta­tus would be re­viewed next month.

Se­cu­rity spe­cial­ists in Sri­na­gar told TOI that they have cred­i­ble in­tel­li­gence that Pak­istan is plan­ning to es­ca­late ten­sions by push­ing in more ter­ror­ists into Kash­mir. “Pak­istan’s ob­jec­tive is to in­ter­na­tion­alise the Kash­mir is­sue. They want to pre­vent restora­tion of nor­malcy in Kash­mir by ter­ror­is­ing com­mon peo­ple (to pre­vent them) from open­ing shops, schools, busi­nesses and re­sum­ing nor­mal life. For that, they need more than the 250 ter­ror­ists in Kash­mir at the mo­ment. The ISI re­alises that as of to­day, with not a sin­gle bul­let fired since Au­gust 5, New Delhi has the sit­u­a­tion in its con­trol. So they will make their best ef­forts to cre­ate may­hem,” a spe­cial­ist said.

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