As the country’s leaders expressed shock at the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, India also stepped up its guard and got the security forces along the Indo-Pak border to push the vigil at the border and within the states to the highest levels.
The home ministry has asked border guarding forces “to remain vigilant” in view of the developments in Pakistan, home ministry spokesman Omkar Kedia said on Thursday. “Advisories have also been issued to the states to maintain vigil,” he added.
Ever since President Pervez Musharraf imposed the Emergency in Pakistan on November 3, the Army and the Border Security Force have are already on a high alert particularly at the LoC and other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The assassination is likely to have a backlash against the extremists and particularly the Taliban in Pakistan. Their counterparts hiding in the valley will obviously be demoralised and try to lie low. The other likely repercussion is that the terrorists in Pakistan will try and cross over to our side as the security agencies in Pakistan turn the heat on them. Fortunately for us, the passes are all closed due to heavy snowfall. Even then we have to be a little more careful,” a senior Army official told HT.
“If there is an onslaught against the terrorists there, they still might to try and infiltrate from south of Banihal. For that they will need some kind of support from their own army, which might not be forthcoming,” an intelligency agency official said.
Army intelligence sources said the Indian agencies have been closely monitoring the situation in Pakistan and the vigil at the border has been intensified to the highest levels possible after the assassination. “Our preparedness levels are to ensure that no man crosses over,” an officer said on the condition of anonymity. There are more than three lakh security personnel deployed in the northern state fighting insurgency and protecting the borders.
The imposition of emergency in Pakistan saw a sudden spurt in infiltration in J and K. The Indian Army saw the escalation in infiltration as a result of the strife in Pakistan and the attempts by the terrorists to cross over before winter closed the mountainous routes.