Pakistan-based militants will try to sneak into India and attack “soft targets” in Jammu and Kashmir like schools, religious places and civilian areas ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the country later this month, a top Army officer warned today.
The warning by General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen K H Singh on the basis of “general inputs” came on a day when security forces gunned down five hardcore militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in a fierce gunbattle in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
Gen Singh said that 200 heavily-armed militants were waiting in 36 launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on the other side of Pir Panjal range and there is every possibility that Pakistan might try to divert the fringe elements of the home grown terrorist outfits on this side of the border.
“There are general inputs that terrorists might try to attack soft targets, including schools, religions places, army convoys and other civilian areas,” he told reporters here.
Gen Singh said the army was fully prepared to foil any such nefarious designs of the terrorist organisations.
“There are 200 terrorists waiting in 36 launching pads across the border on the other side of the Pir Panjal range to sneak into Indian side, we have so far been able to foil their attempts,” he said.
Obama is arriving in New Delhi on January 25 on a three-day visit to the country.
Gen Singh said the terror infrastructure across the border is active and terrorist organisations were receiving the support of Pakistani establishment including the army and ISI.
“There are 14 to 15 terrorists training camp active on the other side of the line of control within our area of responsibility.
“The terrorist infrastructure across the border is intact and there is every possibility that Pakistan might try to divert some of its home grown terrorists towards this side of the border,” he said.
The General said there could be a possibility that some disgruntled elements of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan might surrender to the Pakistani Army, which can be used to launch attacks against India.
He said that less than two months ago the chief of banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Sayeed, was reported to have visited the areas along the border in Pakistan to motivate his cadre to launch anti-India attacks.
He said that there were 37 active militants in Jammu region, but their movements are under check by the security agencies.
“There are 80 to 90 people involved in militancy in Jammu region including 37 active militants, the rest are sleeper cells, but we make sure that we continue to dominate them so they cannot launch any operation,” Gen Singh said.