Terror launchpads close to the border are active again and infiltration has picked up, with agencies warning that this could point to an attempt by Pakistan to use the developments in Afghanistan to its advantage.
“This is in contrast with the almost nil infiltration seen in the initial months after the India-Pakistan ceasefire pact in February this year. Intelligence inputs a few days ago reported sighting of 21 terrorists at a launch pad near the LoC,” a source told TOI. Recruitment of local youths into terrorist ranks remains a concern, though it is less than last year. Around 87 J&K youths have joined terrorist outfits so far this year, down from the around 137 in the corresponding period last year.
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“The events in Afghanistan have created a buzz in the Valley, with a section eyeing it as a victory for Islamic forces. For terrorist outfits too, it is being touted as a morale booster,” said an intelligence officer. The assessment of security agencies is that while there is no immediate threat to J&K, Jaish and LeT are back to their old ways.
Interestingly,while infiltration attempts have picked up, drone activity originating from Pakistan has seen a significant decline in the last one-and-a-half months. Just three attempts at dropping of arms by drones were reported in J&K, with new drone surveillance systems — sourced from DRDO and Army — installed at key points on the international border.
Sources told TOI that as many as 102 terrorists were neutralised by counter-terror forces till August 28 this year, though casualties among security forces have been way lower. There were 3-4 fatalities among central police forces till early August this year, down from 15-16 in the corresponding period of 2020. Also four Army personnel were killed, down from 17-18 last year. Police casualties have, however, been higher at around 10-11 this year.