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Militants may attack J-K ahead of Obama visit: Army

india Updated: Jan 15, 2015 21:09 IST

The Indian Army said on Thursday that there were inputs about possibility of attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits on "soft targets" in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of US President Barack Obama's India visit later this month.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen KH Singh said that heavily armed militants were waiting in 36 launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on the other side of Pir Panjal range and there was every possibility that Pakistan might try to divert the fringe elements of the homegrown terrorist outfits on this side of the border.

"There are general inputs that terrorists might try to attack soft targets, including schools, religions places, army convoys and other civilian areas," Singh told reporters in Nagrota in Jammu district.

Singh said the army was fully prepared to foil any such nefarious designs of the terrorist organisations.

"There are 200 terrorists waiting in 36 launching pads across the border on the other side of the Pir Panjal range to sneak into Indian side, we have so far been able to foil their attempts," he said.

Singh said the terror infrastructure across the border is active and terrorist organisations were receiving the support of Pakistani establishment including the army and ISI.

"There are 14 to 15 terrorists training camp active on the other side of the line of control within our area of responsibility.

"The terrorist infrastructure across the border is intact and there is every possibility that Pakistan might try to divert some of its home grown terrorists towards this side of the border," he said.

Singh said there could be a possibility that some disgruntled elements of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan might surrender to the Pakistani army, which can be used to launch attacks against India.

He said that less than two months ago the chief of banned terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Sayeed, was reported to have visited the areas along the border in Pakistan to motivate his cadre to launch anti-India attacks.

On a question whether India was ready to launch a counter attack on the terror infrastructure across the border, Singh said the army is always prepared to face any eventuality.

He said that there were 37 active militants in Jammu region, but their movements are under check by the security agencies.

"There are 80 to 90 people involved in militancy in Jammu region including 37 active militants, the rest are sleeper cells, but we make sure that we continue to dominate them so they cannot launch any operation," Singh said.

While Pakistan-based terror outfits were trying to infiltrate militants in to the Indian side, Singh said the army has been foiling their attempts.

"Several infiltration attempts were made, but we foiled all such attempts from their side," he added.

"Last year, 15 infiltration attempts were made in our area of responsibility, but we ensured that zero infiltration took place," he said.

Singh said that there was coordination between Pakistani army, the ISI and militants who were working in tandem to step up attacks on India.

"The coordination centres being run by the Pakistan Army, ISI and militants are always there across the border, but these days they have increased their activities in these coordination centres," he said.

In view of inputs that militants will try to attack soft targets, Singh said the security agencies have been put on alert to thwart the nefarious designs of the militants.

"I can assure you and you must be proud of the fact that your army is well prepared to deal with any such eventuality and to foil any nefarious designs of the terrorist outfits," he said.

"We have taken measures to ensure that schools in our area of responsibility are safe and we are prepared to deal with any such attempts," he added.

When asked to comment on the statement of Pakistani defense minister blaming India for aiding and abetting militancy in Pakistan, Singh said that India would never indulge in any such activities.

"Though I cannot speak on this, but as an Indian citizen I assure you that India never indulges in any such activity," he said.

Singh said that the capabilities of the militants in Jammu region have reduced, but the modules across the border were still active. Such modules were coordinating the logistic and other activities for the militants, he added.

Peace in Kashmir has to be maintained

Accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, army chief Dalbir Singh said,"The peace in Jammu and Kashmir, which was brought with great difficulty, has to be maintained."

"The recent terror attacks show that terrorists continue to get support from "across the border", Singh said, while addressing his force on the occasion of 67th Army Day.

Earlier this week too, he had accused Pakistan of continuing to support "proxy war" in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties due to terror on its soil.