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Over 100 terrorists ready at launchpads to enter India via Pakistan occupied Kashmir: Intelligence

Fifteen terrorists from Afghanistan under the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are presently based in Leepa Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Updated: Aug 23, 2019, 09.45 AM IST
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Security forces have also noticed changes in the Pakistan army’s firing pattern during ceasefire violations along the LoC, which has been to assist infiltrations.
A high-level alert has been sounded in several Indian cities including New Delhi, officials said, after intelligence reports indicated that about 100 Pakistan-backed terrorists, including Afghans, are set to infiltrate into the country to carry out major attacks in these cities and in Jammu & Kashmir.

Fifteen terrorists from Afghanistan under the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are presently based in Leepa Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), readying for cross-border action, an official said. The Indian area opposite the valley is Tangdhar, one of the most active areas along the Line of Control for terrorist activities.

Officials said a company of Pakistani Special Service Group commandos has broken up into small groups and are positioned in PoK opposite the Keran and Poonch sectors in Jammu & Kashmir. It is not clear how many groups are operational.

Indications that there will be a major push by terrorists to enter India in the coming days came to light during a JeM meeting in Bahawalpur on August 19 and 20 chaired by Mufti Rauf Asgar, the brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar who is responsible for carrying out attacks in India. “Asgar has given instructions to the launch pad commanders to push infiltrators into India,” explained an official.

The terrorists are said to have been tasked with increasing their ranks and strengthening the operational leadership in J&K. The move comes after local terrorists were unable to survive and fight for longer than about six months due to sustained operations by security forces. They are also not as well-trained as in the past, when they were sent to camps for advanced weapons training.

With only three main terrorist groups — Lashkar-e-Taiba, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen — operating in J&K and the absence of other outfits for Pakistani handlers to use as backups, there has been a prolonged recruitment drive in PoK. A 10-day refresher training course was given to terrorists in Mansehra.

“There is a need to have more boots on the ground. An outsider will be able to carry out an attack more ruthlessly than a local,” explained an official.

Security forces have also noticed changes in the Pakistan army’s firing pattern during ceasefire violations along the LoC, which has been to assist infiltrations.

The Pakistan establishment, meanwhile, has established a framework to ‘internationalise’ the Kashmir issue, especially if a terrorist attack takes place. One measure is by spreading false information, which came to light with a fake Twitter account of the Indian Army’s Vice Chief Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, which carried posts on the acceptance of human rights violations in J&K.

“Pakistan has been saying that it is only giving moral support to Kashmiris, but the funding, support and instructions to carry out an attack cannot be done without it. It is creating a facade to become distant to the next possible attack, which will be triggered when things are normal,” explained an official.

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