Infiltration, but less than before: India
NEW DELHI: Pakistan is continuing to send militants into Kashmir to support an insurgency there, but at lower levels than in the past, said Indian intelligence sources and military officials on Friday.
Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh plans to discuss cross-border violence when he meets his counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri for talks in New Delhi on Sunday aimed at reinvigorating the fragile peace process between the two neighbours.
An intelligence source said in New Delhi that Pakistan had clamped down heavily on infiltration by “jihadis” into Kashmir in the first five months of this year.
But intense pressure from militant groups desperate to replenish their numbers forced Islamabad to turn the “jihadi tap” back on in June and July, he said. Infiltration has again fallen in August in the face of Indian and international criticism and in the run-up to this weekend’s talks, he said.
In Srinagar, military officials said more than 270 militants crossed into the Kashmir Valley from Pakistan in the first seven months of the year, compared to 560 in the same period last year.
“People are still crossing over,” said K Srinivasan, deputy inspector general of India’s Border Security Force. “But it is lower than last year. Training in Azad Kashmir is going on, training camps are active,” Srinivasan said. “I have the human intelligence, I have the electronic intelligence to substantiate that those people are supported by the authorities.”
Officials said the militants appeared to have been well trained and instructed in using wire cutters and rubber tubes to cross fence.
“The situation is going from bad to worse for us,” said the leader of one militant group. “They (Pakistanis) tell us that the idea of jihad is no longer acceptable in the world.” Nevertheless militants said they had not abandoned their campaign in Held Kashmir.
“We do send mujahideen sometimes our attempts succeed but sometimes do not,” said a militant commander. “We have no other option but to fight because we don’t see any sincerity on the part of India to resolve this issue. It is a moment of trial for us but we will go forward.” reuters