Hafiz Saeed touring terror camps on IB to provoke militants: IG BSF

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Inspector General (IG), BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Rakesh Sharma said today that Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed is touring terrorist camps along the border and “repeatedly provoking” militants to carry out attacks in India.
Addressing a press conference at BSF Headquarters at Paloura, Sharma said Pakistan’s security forces are allowing Saeed to “openly operate” in the border areas to indoctrinate terrorist groups allegedly in connivance with some of the Pakistan’s agencies.
“You see Hafiz Saeed has been repeatedly provoking terrorists. Recently inputs have come that motivational speeches are being delivered in the terrorist camps and launching pads that we have to engineer terror acts (across the border in this side),” Sharma said.
The BSF IG was replying to a question whether the terror infrastructure across the border has increased.
“There has been an increase in such activities across the border. Motivational talks and provocative speeches by preachers have increased,” Sharma said.
“He (Hafiz Saeed) has been engaged in motivational speeches. He has been seen doing this in Sialkote and some other areas, and he is visiting various parts of Pakistan,” he added.
Sharma said, “There was news last year that he (Saeed) was seen close to the International Border (IB) in Sialkote sector. He is indoctrinating the youth and terrorist groups and motivating them to do something (engineer terrorist acts in India).”
Replying to question whether there was a nexus between Pakistan army and Saeed on the borders, the IG said, “If any security force does not want something to happen in its area of operation along the borders…Definitely it forces its own will.
“If it (will) is not been forced and Hafiz Saeed can openly operate in the border areas… It is clear indication of involvement of Pakistan’s security forces.”
“If they are interested in maintaining peace and tranquility on the border and do not want to disturb it, they should stop him. They are not stopping him that is clearly evident of their involvement,” the IG BSF said.
Replying to another question on the threat that terror outfit IS may pose for BSF along the border while countering cross-border infiltration, the IG said, “As of now, there is no input like this. But we are keeping a close eye on activities and what is happening across.”
“Therefore, a terrorist can do anything anywhere. So, we also become vulnerable. We have accordingly taken adequate measures. We have sensitised our ground commanders also and they are picking up and carefully examining each and every situation.
“Such type of possibility cannot be ruled out. There is such possibility but we are taken adequate measures,” Sharma added.
“It is being thought that IS can support Pakistani terrorists along LoC and IB. This is accepted by the Intelligence Agencies. There are inputs in this regard that they can do it. Let us wait and watch what can happen,” he said.
The BSF officer said that terror infrastructure is intact in Pakistan. “The number of the training camps and launching pads are the same. The terror infrastructure is totally intact in Pakistan and terrorists are there,” the IG said.
Sharma said, “Increasing and decreasing of terrorists in the camps depend upon their strategy and planned to shift them to left or right to put pressures.”
On the question that Pakistan is building a BAT force with recruitment of criminals, prisoners and militants along the border line, the IG said “This has been their past trend also. They have always used convicted people and other prisoners with criminal records and trained them and used in militancy on the promise that you will be freed. Pakistan is using them.”
Claiming that there has been 100 per cent increase in cross-border firing, the IG BSF said the repeated attacks show that Pakistan wants to project the IB and State of J&K as a “disturbed” region.
“It (to target and activate International Border by firing, shelling and engineering terror acts in past) clearly indicates that they have a design. The design is that they want the J&K, including IB, to internationalise and project it as a disturbed area,” Sharma said.
Sharma was replying to a question on whether Pakistan is activating IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts by targeting it with ceasefire violations and terror attacks in bid to internationalise the border region.
He said, “There is no dispute on IB. There is no land dispute on IB. There is no dispute of local farmers on the two sides of the border. There is no dispute on border resources or any other resources as it happens on the other areas of the border.”
“Therefore, our area is being cultivated right up to the IB and there land has also been cultivated up to the IB and therefore there should be peace on the borders as we always want. India wants peace and tranquility on the borderline and prosperity of the border population and Pakistan never wants it at whatever costs it may be,” Sharma said.
On the question of increase in firing and shelling along the borderline during last five years, he said that there has been a huge cross-border firing in last year.
“In previous period, there was firing one or two times in a year. When you compare it with the current 12 months, there has been firing for almost 10 months, leaving just one or two months without cross-border firing,” he said.
“Firing has been taken in different sectors, including RS Pura, Akhnoor, Samba and Kathua. If we take figures into cognizance, there has been a huge increase in cross-border firing. There has been always ceasefire violation from Pakistan and it was repeatedly been done. The figures are very high,” Sharma said.
“There has been 100 per cent increase in ceasefire violations from mid of 2014 to 2015 as compared by previous years. If earlier there was firing in 1-2 months in a year, now it is happening in every month. During this period, there has been firing in every month,” Sharma said.
On infiltration, IG said, “Attempts are being made to push in armed militants and during last year in January and August period, there has been firing in the border on suspected movements as attempts were being made to push in militants”.
“There has been increase in attempts of infiltration during last one year. There have been more than 45 attempts of infiltration during the period along IB,” Sharma said.
“As per various intelligence reports and minute to minute monitoring of activities in forward area of Pakistan by BSF, there is presence of approximately 60-70 terrorists of LeT/JeM /HM across the IB at various launching bases and Pak villages, but BSF is fully prepared to foil any kind of nefarious design and committed to ensure peace and tranquility on border”, he said.
To check infiltration, we take measures accordingly. They have attempted in Chicken Neck area along IB, they have attempted in Samba, Hiranagar areas and Kathua, but we are keeping a close watch on them, he said.
On the question about challenges being faced by BSF during past one year, he said that the biggest challenge we face from Pakistan is cross-border infiltration, which cannot be tolerated at any cost.
“We will take all measures to foil it and in flag meetings, we also have told Pakistan very clearly that we have no tolerance towards infiltration and if you attempt infiltration, we will react very sharply,” he said.
“Snipping also spoils the relations on the IB. When any type of snipping is carried out by them, we give them a befitting reply there and then only without waiting for any further delay,” he added.
“We have no tolerance to cross-border firing targeting civilian areas. We have repeatedly told them (Pak) in the meetings of sector level commanders,” he added.
Sharma said, “It is very clear in our mind that we will not tolerate this from Pakistan, but we will have to give a very sharp reaction to it”.
“We have briefed the troops and asked them to be prepared for any eventuality on the borders. We have experience in the past. When we wanted peace to prevail on the borders, Pakistan has broken the peace. Our troops are alert,” IG said.
“The period from 2014 mid to this year has been the most tense period. There was heaviest cross-border firing during the period and it was repeatedly been done and was intensified from their side and we have given a befitting reply,” he added.
IG said, “Jawans are the real heroes and I give them the full credit of guarding border in efficient way and their commanders who led them.”
The BSF has installed anti-fog devices and deployed more troops along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, putting in place its “winter strategy” to foil infiltration bids and terror attacks.
“The winter strategy has been put in place along the IB. In the middle of November onwards till the weather improves, we take several security measures to ensure that we become absolutely impregnable on the border,” Sharma said
The IG said the passes in the higher regions get closed due to snow and become almost impossible to cross and, therefore, the focus shifts on the International Border (IB).
Asked about smart fencing along the border to prevent infiltration, Sharma said it was still under trial.
“Once the trial is successful, it would be put to use on the ground and the results will be seen. It is still in trial stage,” he said.
Besides increasing manpower and intensifying operations on the borders like patrolling, the IG said technology also played an important role and a technical surveillance grid had been set up along the border. “So that we take the help of technology if the human fails.”
Elaborating further on the steps being taken by the BSF to secure the borders, Sharma said, “We monitor the grid every day. All the commanders do it on the ground.
“Maximum efforts are made to enhance the visibility because fog also plays a spoil during the winters. We had taken the winter posture after Diwali,” he added.
On reports regarding intelligence inputs that there was a group of 8-10 militants waiting to infiltrate from across the border, the IG said that a close watch was being kept.
“We have received reports that a small group of militants have been placed at different spots along the border line to infiltrate,” he said.
Replying to another question on whether BSF was deploying more troops on the border and raising more pickets in view of the foggy conditions along the borderline to prevent infiltration, he said that pickets were already there.
“Addition and subtraction of troops is being done as per the weather reports and visibility,” he added.
He said the militants as of now were using traditional infiltration routes but they could use some other areas for infiltration. “But we do not lower our guards at all. Traditional routes have added advantage of navigation.”
Replying to a question about BSF’s security preparedness post Tangdhar terror attack, he said, “We are closely watching what type of symptoms are developing and what type of suspicious movement is taking place close to the IB. Everything is being monitored very carefully.”
“Not only this. We have been communicating with Pakistan through protest notes that such and such thing is happening in their area of operation. We are asking them to take stock of the situation as they stand committed to the minutes signed by their DG to not allow infiltration to happen,” he said.
“IB under Jammu frontier has history of remaining volatile and sensitive since independence as Pakistan considers the entire Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory and ridiculously terms the IB as working boundary,” he said.
“Militants in connivance with Pakistan Rangers and Pakistan intelligence agencies have been repeatedly resorting to militant infiltrations, frequent stand-off attacks, sniper fire, IED blasts, border firing to keep the ‘K’ issue alive.
“These attempts have been successfully foiled by round-the-clock vigil and effective border domination by BSF inspite of heavy losses and effectively ensured peace and tranquility and sense of security to border population in Jammu region,” he said.
The IG said the continuous failure has brought about a perceived change in their modus operandi and of late the Pakistani troops have resorted to snipping and unprovoked firing to deter troops from performing the routine duties.
“This has more or less been of nuisance value and BSF units deployed on IB have ensured befitting reply to any misadventure,” he added.
In view of effective response by BSF, the IG said Pakistan has resorted to a new strategy of targeting Indian villages through mortar shelling which has escalated into full scale border skirmishes.
“Year 2015 has remained to be very challenging year for the frontier BSF Jammu on operational front due to continuous heavy cross border firing/shelling and desperate infiltration attempts by Pakistan-based militants groups”, he said.
“Concentration of militants of various outfits like LeT, JeM, HM etc are regularly being reported at various launching bases across the IB and also observed near to IB on Pak side”, Sharma said, adding that Frontier BSF Jammu has established effective anti-infiltration grid along the IB to foil such nefarious attempts.
Meanwhile, IG BSF Rakesh Sharma said that the BSF as well as Jammu frontier have bagged all the five force-level trophies.
“The year 2015 will be remembered as a historical milestone in the history of BSF as well as Jammu frontier as all the five force level trophies have been bagged by frontier Jammu and its units which is a rare feat,” the IG said.
The trophies will be presented on December 1 this year at Delhi during Golden Jubilee Raising Day parade by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to IG Sharma, SPS Sandhu, Commandant 192 Bn BSF and Sanjay Kumar, 89 Bn BSF.
“This is historical achievement of Jammu frontier in golden jubilee year of BSF. Frontier BSF Jammu in spite of heavy operational commitment throughout the year on IB with Pakistan has excelled in various fields in entire force in pursuance of excellence,” Sharma said.
These trophies included Maharana Pratap Trophy, Ashwani Kumar Trophy, Rajbhasa Shield, General Choudhary Trophy and DG’s banner, he said.

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