Pakistan has stepped up attempts to push in as many terrorists as possible into Jammu and Kashmir in order to disturb peace and harmony in the Valley after the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370, senior security officials said on Wednesday.
“Pakistan is desperate to push in as many terrorists into the Kashmir Valley as possible, especially after August 5. We have apprehended two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists alive during one such foiled attempt,” General officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps Lt General KS Dhillon told reporters.
He said the launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were active and full of militants who were being facilitated by the Pakistan Army to infiltrate into the state.
“The Pakistan Army is facilitating the terrorists to infiltrate into Kashmir. Even the two terrorists, who were captured alive, were guided by the Pakistan Army at the forward posts near the LoC,” he added.
In a video shown at the briefing, the two terrorists identified themselves as Mohammad Khalil and Mohammad Nazim, hailing from Rawalpindi area of Pakistan.
The duo admitted that they were being trained by Lashkar and Pakistan Army personnel, and named several of their accomplices.
Mohammad Nazim could be seen drinking tea while the video was being recorded.
“Chai acchi hai (the tea is good),” the LeT terrorists responded when asked.
The terrorists, who were captured in Gulmarg sector near the LoC on August 21, said they were pushed into the Indian territory with an aim of carry out attacks in the Valley.
Lt Gen Dhillon said the Pakistan Army has been trying day and night to infiltrate terrorists into Kashmir, but these efforts were being effectively dealt with.
He said the counter-insurgency operations in the hinterland of the Valley were also going on and restrictions on communication had not come in the way.
“We have killed terrorists and apprehended several of them during the past one month. The operations in the hinterland have not been affected,” Lt Gen Dhillon said in response to a question.
He said five to seven Pakistani terrorists and regulars were killed near the LoC last month and the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army had conveyed the same to his Pakistani counterpart.
“The DGMO has informed Pakistan DGMO that we have two Pakistani citizens in our custody,” he said.
Lt Gen Dhillon said while there were no ceasefire violations along the LoC from March 12 to July 30, Pakistan resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC there onwards for several days, targeting civilian habitations.
“These ceasefire violations were effectively responded to,” he said, adding that there have been three to four ceasefire violations along the LoC in Gurez sector after August 5.
Additional Director General of Police Law and Order Muneer Khan, who was also present at the briefing, said the infiltration at the LoC was being effectively dealt with by the Army while the security forces were ensuring peace in the hinterland.
“Our primary objective was to ensure there are no civilian casualties during any law and order problems. So far, touchwood, we have had no civilian casualty while dealing with law and order situations,” he added.
Khan said clear instructions have been given to security forces to ensure zero civilian casualties.
He also said the situation in the Valley had improved significantly over the past one month and hoped that things will normalise in the coming days.