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ISI's infiltration tactics led to LoC violence

Last updated on: January 11, 2013 13:57 IST

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde recently claimed that 26/11 terror strike mastermind and Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder Hafiz Saeed had visited border areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir a few days before the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops.

According to Intelligence Bureau officials, Saeed had visited a camp run by Lashkar to train a batch of 20 infiltrators, to wage a battle in Kashmir. Saeed was at the camp to motivate the trainees before they crossed into Kashmir.

The Pakistan Army was going to cover the entry of these infiltrators by providing diversionary fire.

IB officials point out that Saeed would only visit a camp personally if highly-trained militants were involved in the operation.

The IB had received intercepts about Saeed visiting areas near LoC five days before the killing of the two jawans. 

Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence usually decides the time and date for an operation to send in militants inside Kashmir. Terror outfits like Lashkar then put together a band of militants and train them for the purpose.

In the last stage, a senior leader like Saeed visits the camp to deliver a motivational address, comprising inflammatory remarks against India.

These trained militants are then sent to a pre-decided site from where the ISI takes over the operations. Arms and explosives are handed over to them near the border. Guides deployed by the ISI help them cross over. On cue from the spy agency, the Pakistan Army provides diversionary fire to create a distraction.

Lashkar, like its predecessor Hizbul Mujahideen, is an integral part of the Pakistan establishment because of its anti-India activities, says former chief of Research and Analysis Wing C D Sahay.

The Pakistan establishment is under immense pressure from LeT and other such jihadi outfits to step up its disruptive activities in Kashmir.

Since the last few years, the ceasefire between India and Pakistan had temporarily halted cross-border firing and infiltrations, points out Sahay.

But skirmishes between the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army along the border have increased over the years.  There have been as many as 51 cross-border violations in the recent past.

IB officials find a qualitative shift in incidents of cross-border violence.

"It does not happen accidentally, there is a clear-cut design behind it. Such provocation does not happen at the local level, it comes from the very top," said an IB official.

The ISI, which is finding it hard to contain the LeT, has been backing the training of nearly 100 operatives near the border.

This time the spy agency tried to sneak in 20 highly-trained militants and the operation flared up into a full-fledged cross-border military confrontation between the two armies.

Vicky Nanjappa