With the onset of winter, the likelihood of Pakistan making desperate attempts to raise tensions along the Line of Control to divert attention from its internal issues can’t be ruled out, according to a top Army commander here.
In an interaction, Lt Gen BS Raju, who heads the strategically-located XV Corps of the Army that is responsible for maintaining vigil along the LoC and tackling militancy in the hinterland, said there are continued reports of 200-250 terrorists in launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) looking for a chance to infiltrate.
The top Army officer spoke about the just-concluded District Development Council elections and said he was happy that the polls were held peacefully and the people got to vote to invigorate grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is now time for the elected representatives to work for the people and for the people to seek delivery in terms of development activity,” he said.
On winter posturing along the LoC wherein infiltration is more likely through lower heights, he said there are continued reports of 200-250 terrorists in launch pads in PoK looking for a chance to infiltrate.
“They will try to exploit bad weather to infiltrate, but the security forces are focusing on both direct infiltration into Kashmir through the LoC and those attempted through the south of Pir Panjal. The deployment on the LoC is robust and supported by layers of surveillance devices,” he said.
In order to divert “the attention of its people from internal issues, Pakistan may like to escalate tensions along the border by pushing in terrorists even during peak of winter or resorting to ceasefire violations. In both eventualities, we are ready and will give a befitting response to any such misadventure,” the Army commander said.
By internal political unrest in Pakistan, the top Army officer was referring to the threat given to the Imran Khan government by an alliance of 11 political parties — the Pakistan Democratic Movement — to resign by 31 January next year.