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Monday, October 12, 1998
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Militants told to strike in HP, Jammu

NEW DELHI, Oct 11 (PTI) — Pakistan has directed its militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir to strike in nearby Himachal Pradesh on a wider scale, reports received here said today.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has also directed the militants to target Jammu city after establishing bases in Himachal Pradesh, reports said.

Some of the Pakistani militants arrested recently, revealed during interrogation that hilly tracks along the Pir Panjal range were being used by militants to infiltrate into Himachal Pradesh, for the purpose, the reports added.

The militants also revealed that a number of “darasgahs” (Islamic schools) had been set up in Chamba and the Kangra valley where militants took refuge after sneaking into the state.

They said the ISI had given them clear indications to target members of the Hindu community in Jammu to provoke communal clashes.

Large-scale infiltration was also taking place from Reasi, Poonch and Rajouri “with an eye on Jammu”, the militants said, according to the reports.

Several Hindu labourers were killed by militants in Chamba earlier this year.

According to the interrogated ultras, the ISI had also been desperately trying to establish a base in Jammu, the reports said.

The ISI had asked Afghan warlords to train the militants as the regular Pakistani Army, in view of mounting international pressure, had been staying away from the training camps along the Line of Control (LoC) which had been converted into transit camps to shift extremists to the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan for training, the reports said.

A recently arrested militant, code-named Sikander, told the authorities that the camps along the LoC including Gadi Habib, Nowsheri, Nowsada, Kotla and Bimber, had now been made transit camps for shifting militants to Auttuck and Alaque Gher in the NWFP to be trained in basic and jungle warfare by Afghans, the reports said.

These jungle warfare tactics, according to Sikander, were adopted following the directive of the ISI to militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir to shift to virgin peaks of the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, according to the reports.

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