Despite talks, no change in Pak strategy to facilitate infiltration bids: Nimbhorkar

Notwithstanding resumption of talks between India and Pakistan, there has been no change in Pakistan strategy to push infiltrators into the Indian territory by facilitating the infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC) even as Army said that despite snowfall, militants may try to make intrusion bids along the LoC but added that Army was ready to deal with such challenges.
This was stated by General Officer Commanding (GOC) 16 Corps Lt Gen R R Nimbhorkar and GOC Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua while talking to reporters separately in the two winter capitals.
While Lt Gen Nimbhorkar was talking to media persons on the sidelines of a function to mark ‘Vijay Divas’ celebrations, Lt Gen Dua met the reporters during a function on the return of 30 Kashmiri girls from educational tour of `Pariyun Key Parwaaz’.
It was on this day in 1971 that Pakistani troops had surrendered and India had liberated Bangladesh from Pakistan.
“There is no change in Pakistan strategy as far as the LoC is concerned. Reports suggested that Pakistan army is going ahead with its plans to facilitate infiltration attempts along the LoC to create disturbances on this side,” he said.
Pointing out that troops were maintaining high vigil all along the LoC, the top Army Commander said there was no let up in the militant activities across the LoC, where they were camping at launching pads waiting for opportunities to sneak into this side.
The GOC Nagrota based 16 Corps was replying to a question as to whether there was any change on the situation along the LoC following resumption of talks between India and Pakistan.
“See the static policy of our adversary is that they will help those whom they call freedom fighters and that is a different part of story and matter of perception, the GOC said, adding: “just see the last decade or so, they were always trying to infiltrate for maintaining the level of terrorism in our country, especially in this part of the State where we are. So the efforts will continue”.
“We are taking adequate measures to stall the infiltration and stop them and make sure that they don’t get a chance to engineer subversive acts in this part of the country,” Lt Gen Nimbhorkar said.
Asked about change in terror infrastructure across the border including launching pads, he said “I cannot put my thumb on their pulse. They keep on changing. Only thing I can say with certainty yes, they are there. There is no denying the fact.”
“As far as we are concerned, we are to make sure that our apparatus is in place so that we make it difficult for them and they cannot have chance to infiltrate towards this side,” he said.
On the situation in LoC, Lt Gen Nimbhorkar said: “the troops are always vigilant whether it is snowfall or normal summer activity. Our system and our methodology change as per the climate and temperature on the ground.”
Meanwhile, the GOC 16 Corps said one of the three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, who were recently killed in Poonch, was wearing a vest bearing the name of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and carrying a number of eatables with Pakistani markings.
He said that troops are very alert and a counter-infiltration grid is in place along the border to foil the terrorists’ designs.
“We have thwarted their attempts to infiltrate through an area (in Poonch LoC) and in fact we killed three terrorists in one of their attempts (in Poonch). They belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba,” he said, adding the troops have recovered a dress of a terrorist on which it was written Jamaat-ud-Dawa.”
“I cannot say with certainty whether Hafiz Saeed has visited the other side of the fence but recently eliminated militants were definitely cadres of LeT and one of the terrorists wore a vest clearly showing name of Jamaat-ud-Dawa written on it and whatever we recovered from them including eatables and other things, Pakistan was written on them,” Lt Gen Nimbhorkar said.
He was replying to a volley of question about visits of 26/11 mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Sayeed to LoC areas on Pakistan side to incite and help infiltration of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.
In an encounter in Poonch on December 3, three LeT terrorists who have been killed, wore t-shirts bearing in Urdu the name of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an outfit which has been declared a terrorist organization by the United States. The jawans had also recovered weapons and ‘Made in Pakistan’ eatables from the terrorists.
As far as winter strategy is concerned, our counter- infiltration grid is well in place, he said, adding, “We have thought out well-established strategy to counter infiltration. We have taken various recee and surveillance aspects in place. Our troops are very alert as you have seen from the events of last months or so.”
Vijay Diwas was today celebrated by White Knight Corps at Ashwamedh Shaurya Sthal at Nagrota, outskirts of Jammu city, and Lt Gen Nimbhorkar laid the wreath at the memorial.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen Satish Dua said in Srinagar that despite snowfall, militants may try to make infiltration attempts along the LoC but Army is ready to deal with such challenges.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of return of 30 Kashmiri girls from educational tour of “Pariyun key Parwaaz”, the GOC 15 Corps Lt General Satish Dua said that as the passes along the LoC in Kashmir are getting closed due to snowfall, there are gaps from where infiltration attempts would be made.
“The passes, as you are aware, are getting closed now. However, snow level at places is not so prohibitive that they may not make more attempts. In fact there may be a chance before there is further snowfall. They might make a few attempts in some of the areas and Army is ready in tiers to deal with that”, the GOC said.
Lt General Dua said that search for the militants in Manigah forests of Kupwara in which Army lost an officer and have killed two militants, is going on. “We were at it. We did carry out operations for long time. We lost an officer. We got two militants and we didn’t get rest of them as the terrain is such. We don’t want to put inconvenience to locals. We have our own modus operandi to continue search for these militants, which is on”, he said.
On Bajpathri firing range proposal in exchange of Tosa Maidaan that was handed over to Government by Army last year, the GOC said that if it is giving more hardships than advantages army can re-consider it.
“Last year we closed down Tosa Maidaan and we handed it back. We need firing range for training and initially this (Bajpathri) was worked at lower level between the officers. If it is giving more hardships than the advantages then we can re-consider it”, he said.
Lt Gen Dua said he has ordered an inquiry into the disappearance of three civilians who went missing from November 17 after they were seen accompanying a Territorial Army (TA) soldier in Kupwara.
Reiterating zero tolerance against human rights violations, the GOC said an inquiry has been ordered into the missing of three villagers from Trehgam area in Kupwara.
Three villagers Ghulam Jeelani Khatana, Mir Hussain Khatana and  Ali Mohammad Sheikh went missing after they accompanied a soldier of 160 Battalion Manzoor Ahmad Khoja, a resident of Dardpora on November 17.
Lt Gen Dua said Army is committed to zero tolerance on human rights violations. He said an inquiry has already been ordered into the case and if the role of Army is established, action will follow.
However, Army has already denied any involvement in the missing case of three persons and assured full cooperation in police inquiry.
While commenting on the statement of some separatists asking parents of girls not to send their wards to Army tours, the GOC said that Army’s main objective of the girls educational tour is to give them opportunity to broaden their horizons.
“When we started planning this tour there was nothing. There was some criticism to the tour of girls on social media. India is a free country. Everybody has his opinion. Similarly, these children and their parents have also their own opinions and attitudes. We went ahead with this tour for national integration and giving them opportunity to broaden their horizons”, he said.
Lt Gen Dua said that Army conducted the  “Pariyun key Parwaaz” tour with the consent of the girls, their parents and schools. “Army planned to do something and we went ahead for the tour. I acknowledge that there were some statements but this was a voluntary tour that we organized with the assistance from the schools and Education Department and with the consent of the parents. We had a list of 80 girls and we have to prune it down and those who could not be considered were in fact disappointed”, he said.
On some comments made against these girls on social media, the GOC said that society has to act upon such elements who posted these comments. “It is up to the society to take upon them. If they have an opinion, so have these schools and children and it is up to civil society to act upon those who subjected these girls to such trauma”, he added.

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