A bloody year could await Kashmir as the Indian media reports the presence of more than 150 foreign-trained terrorists on a suicide mission in the tumultuous valley. As per experts talking to EurAsian Times, India-Pakistan ties could further sink over cross border terrorism and ceasefire violations. Analysis by Nitin J Ticku.
As Indian armed forces have already neutralized at least 36 terrorists since late March while also losing scores of security forces, HT reports the presence of around 150 foreign-trained terrorists predominantly affiliated to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Experts talking to HT states that “the presence of over 150 foreign terrorists in the Kashmir Valley that too in the first four months of the year is concerning. This number is likely to inflate with the opening of infiltration routes as over 250 mercenaries are waiting to be pushed-in across the border into India”.
In the recent Handwara encounter where two terrorists were killed in the North Kashmir district, one has been identified as a Pakistani terrorist LeT commander called Haider while the other was a local. In this year, of the 68 terrorists killed in J&K, 13 have been foreigners while 150 local militants have also been active in the region, as per the government records.
Earlier in April, the Afghan forces had carried out a raid in the eastern part of the country and found a Taliban camp where 10 men were Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists being trained to fight in Jammu and Kashmir.
The newly formed group, The Resistance Front (TRF), which is also been known to house foreign terrorists is believed to a brainchild of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency – ISI and is alleged to be Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) new name as Islamabad faces the challenge of being blacklisted by the FATF.
As per an unnamed police official – TRF is a new name given by Pakistan to LeT. “Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammad had religious undertone and Islamabad didn’t want that,” he said. “They wanted to unlink the Kashmir insurgency with Islam and make it appear indigenous. Hence they opted for ‘Resistance’.
It is reported that majority of these foreign terrorists are in regions like Pulwama, Anantnag, Kupwara, Shopian, Kulgam and Baramulla districts where they aim to attack Indian security forces in their camps and on their patrols.
Media reports citing some intelligence agencies have also suggested the presence of a group of Pakistani terrorists out on suicide missions in the valley. “The intelligence agencies have information that over a dozen highly trained terrorists with specialized “Daur-e-Khaas training” have sneak-in into Kashmir from Leepa Valley while the entire world including India were busy fighting the pandemic.
The last time J&K suffered a suicide attack, it killed over 40 Indian soldiers and shocked the entire World. India retaliated by bombing terror hideouts in Balakot deep inside Pakistan.
A red alert has been raised in the entire Kashmir and surveillance has been tightened as Army, police and the paramilitary forces are deployed across the valley.
Earlier as the EurAsian Times reported, Riyaz Naikoo, the top most commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in a gunfight with the Indian security forces. Experts believe that this could trigger another spate of violence in the Valley just like the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular militant commander who was eliminated in 2016.
As EurAsian Times reported, Pakistan PM Imran Khan called the Indian statements of infiltration from Pakistan’s side of the Line of Control (LoC) as baseless and instead called it a “continuation of a dangerous agenda”.
Indian Occupation is a direct consequence of India's oppression & brutalisation of Kashmiris.The fascist policies of the RSS-BJP combine are fraught with serious risks. The international community must act before India's reckless moves jeopardise peace & security in South Asia.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 6, 2020
Pakistan PM was reacting to comments from senior Indian officials, including the defence minister and the army chief, affirmed the presence of “terrorist launch-pads” in Pakistan under the patronage of the Army and ISI.
PM Khan tweeted: I have been warning the world about India’s continuing efforts to find a pretext for a false flag operation targeting Pakistan. Latest baseless allegations by India of “infiltration” across LoC are a continuation of this dangerous agenda.
In the second tweet, Khan said: The Indigenous Kashmiri resistance against Indian Occupation is a direct consequence of India’s oppression & brutalisation of Kashmiris. The fascist policies of the RSS-BJP combine are fraught with serious risks. The international community must act before India’s reckless moves jeopardise peace & security in South Asia.
Nitin J Ticku is a communications specialist with a deep interest in Education, Defence and Geopolitics. Nitin holds a double masters degree in Business Management and Journalism and is a frequent contributor to the EurAsian Times.