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Pak revamps strategy, sets up
100 terror launching pads
Ajay Kaul in Jammu |
April 01, 2003 23:27 IST
Desperate after the successful conduct of the assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has revamped its strategy on cross-border terrorism, setting up a 'Joint Command Council' of terror groups and established at least 100 launching pads to step up infiltration, according to the BSF and intelligence sources.
Pakistan has also directed terrorist setups to launch joint attacks on security forces after 'realising the growing ineffectiveness of suicide attacks by individual outfits', they said.
More than 100 launching pads have been set up along the Line of Control and International Border from where terrorists would be pushed into India, they said.
The launching pads are located close to the border outposts of the Pakistani Rangers and the army. Terrorists are lodged there before they could be pushed in at the 'first given opportunity', a top BSF source said.
The source said infiltration had dropped temporarily immediately after the J&K assembly polls in September-October but has 'picked up lately'.
"There is, however, no exfiltration of locals for militancy training in Pakistan as was witnessed in the early 1990s although foreign mercenaries are reported to be going back after the end of their 'tenure' here," the sources said.
Pakistan has brought several militant groups, including the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al Badr and Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami, together to form the 'Joint Command Council' for unified action, the sources said.
The attack on a police post in Udhampur early in March, wherein 11 cops were killed, was the first joint strike after formation of the Command Council, he said.
At least 30 terrorists from four outfits -- LeT, JeM, Al Badr and Hizbul Mujahideen -- struck at the police post, for first time in large numbers, inflicting heavy casualties.
"Inputs suggest that there could be more such attacks on security forces involving a large number of terrorists," the source said adding security forces had been cautioned on this count.
According to estimates of the security forces, up to 1,400 terrorists from various groups are active in the Jammu region, with foreigners constituting at least 40 per cent of them.
The active terrorist groups are the Hizbul Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujahideen (Pir Panjal group), LeT, JeM, HUJI.
"There are also unconfirmed reports about the presence of Taliban cadres in the state," the sources said.
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