Tuesday, July 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Pak pumping in terror
13,000 getting training to disrupt J&K poll
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 29
Contrary to the claims of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, the infiltration of trained terrorists from across the border has started on a large scale to disturb the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and there are reports of at least 58 terrorists, most of them Afghan mercenaries, infiltrating here from the Sunderbani area in Rajouri district.

It is learnt that about 13,000 terrorists are receiving arms training in various camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). According to intelligence reports, they will be sent to J&K before the elections in October to disturb the process by targeting various leaders.

Pakistani troops have been resorting to firing these days on Indian positions in the Mendhar, Naushera and certain other pickets in Rajouri and Poonch districts to provide cover to the infiltrating terrorists and divert the attention of the security forces on this side of the border.

As part of their strategy, the terrorists have started killing political activists. Three activists of the ruling National Conference were shot dead in the Kashmir valley on Saturday last.

According to sources, at least 1000 terrorists were operating in the Doda and Kishtwar areas which border Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.

The ridge on the Pir Panjal range is the favourite route for the Pakistani terrorists to reach the Kashmir valley, the Muslim-dominated areas of Jammu and the Tissa and Kihar areas of Chamba. It is an easy access to Kashmir, Ladakh, Udhampur and Doda from this place.

The sources said the ridge was a safe haven for the terrorists as it provided them an advantageous position on the top from where they were able to escape whenever there was a movement of security forces in the area.

Interestingly, various terrorist groups were calling the vast stretch between Hillkaka near Bafliaz in Poonch district to the ridge as a “liberated area” where they ruled the roost.

In view of the recent interception of wireless messages of terrorists in which attacks on political leaders were indicated, more than 20 infiltration routes from where terrorists were being busted into Jammu & Kashmir were being closely guarded. Most of the infiltration is learnt to have taken place from Kunga-ki-Gali, Dunga Gali and Thandi Kassi in Rajouri district. There were some infiltration routes from the PoK through Poonch district.

What was causing concern was that the Gujjars and the Bakkarwals in certain high reaches of the Pir Panjal range were being forced by the foreign mercenaries to provide shelter to them in their “kothas” and function as guides for them.

There were reports that in response to the call of the Hizbul Mujaheedeen, about 50,000 youths had got themselves enrolled as volunteers for training in Pakistan.

The sources said 350 terrorists were estimated to be operating in Poonch district, while about 265 were active in the Rajouri and Reasi areas. Many of them had mingled with the local population. More than 24 Afghan mercenaries were reportedly among the terrorists in Rajouri district and about 66 in Poonch.

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