Indian forces brace for likely rise in cases of infiltration, ceasefire violation under Imran’s regime
The security establishment here is anticipating a rise in infiltration attempts and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir after the new Government headed by Imran Khan takes charge in Pakistan next week.
An indication of this is already evident with a major infiltration bid earlier this week in which a Major and three soldiers were killed when a big group of terrorists tried to sneak into Gurez sector.
The Pakistan Army provided covering fire to the ultras. Moreover, in last three weeks at least four incidents of ceasefire violations in Jammu region took place in forward Army posts that faced sniper fire resulting in two personnel being injured.
Taking note of these trends after the general elections got over in Pakistan on July 25, the security establishment is redrawing its strategy to deal with anticipated spike in levels of violence on the LoC and in Jammu & Kashmir.
Peace had prevailed on the 750-km long LoC since the two sides decided to abide by the 2003 agreement during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime to honour ceasefire.
The Directors General of Military Operations (DGMO) talked to each other on the hotline on May 29 and both the countries issued identical statements in this regard.
However, Pakistan’s intentions to honour its commitment are doubtful after the elections got over there and the new regime is set to take over. In fact, Imran’s in his meeting with Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria on Friday raked up the issue of Kashmir alleging human rights violations even as India expressed concern over cross-border terrorism.
Elaborating upon apprehensions about LoC turning hot within a few days after Imran takes oath, officials in the security establishment said till now the all-powerful Pakistan Army was engaged in ensuring smooth conduct of elections and pulled out troops from its border with Afghanistan and Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA) besides the LoC to maintain law and order in the country.
Given this situation, the Pakistan Army toned down its offensive stance against India on the LoC apart from fomenting trouble within Kashmir. However, officials feel this lull may be short-lived and the security forces have to brace themselves for some “big” terrorist attacks now. They also did not rule out renewed cross-border firing from across the LoC and international border by the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers.
In the run up to the elections, the Pakistan Army did not engage the Indian Army on the LoC due to reduced troops strength on the borders. Now things are different and ceasefire violations and infiltration bids will go up, sources said.
Pakistan Army targets the Indian Army posts on the LoC in North Kashmir to give covering fire to terrorists to infiltrate into the State.
On the other hand, the Indian posts come under fire in Jammu division that is South of Pir Panjal mountain ranges in Poonch and Rajouri as the Pakistan Army wants to dominate the LoC there. This pattern will now be repeated.
Taking into account the pattern of attempts at infiltration in the recent weeks, Governor NN Vohra especially stressed the need of a heightened vigil along the International Border and LoC, ensuring the safety of protected persons and the security of all important establishments and installations in the State.
Chairing a high-level security review meeting in Srinagar on Friday, he stressed the need to maintain sustained real-time coordination between security forces and civil administration and uncompromising adherence to procedures which ensure against collateral damages while delivering effective counter-terror responses.
The meeting was attended by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Northern Army Commander; Vijay Kumar, Adviser to the Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Lt Gen AK Bhat, GOC 15 Corps; Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor; RK Goyal, Principal Secretary Home; Muneer Khan, ADGP, Home Guards, Security and Law and Order; SP Pani, IGP, Kashmir; Ravideep Singh Sahi, IG, CRPF Kashmir; Sonali Mishra, IG, BSF and officers of State and Central Intelligence Agencies.
Meanwhile, in the wake of forthcoming elections to Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats in the State the security forces have been entrusted with the responsibility to restore peace and instill sense of security among the local residents to motivate them to participate in the poll process at the grass roots level.
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