SRINAGAR: A senior officer of the Indian Army has said that over 300 Pakistani militants are waiting to infiltrate into Kashmir before onset of winter.
Lt. Gen. Satish Dua, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said that several militants had either been arrested or killed while trying to infiltrate into India.
“There are 23 different launch pads, which are closer to the LoC (Line of Control), and a strength of over 300, to be precise it is between 315 and 325, is the strength of terrorists who are there in the launch pads waiting to be or trying to be launched,” Lt. Gen. Dua said in Srinagar.
He added that nearly 1,150 militants were being trained at 17 camps in Pakistan to create havoc in Kashmir.
“As per our intelligence input, there are about 17 terrorists’ camps in Pakistan and PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) put together,” Lt. Gen. Dua added.
He pointed out that the infiltration of militants at this time of the year was nothing new.
“The total assessed strength of terrorists in these camps is anything between 1,000 to 1, 150,” Lt. Gen. Dua added.
“The time is not right for us (the army) to pull out. If we pull out now, we may just lose the ground and that space may be filled by elements which are inimical to the civil society," Lt. Gen. Dua said.
"Today, we have a network grid of security forces in Kashmir. We have brought the situation down to such a manageable level, to a low level of violence so that the work for development can be undertaken. We have made these gains painstakingly, with blood and sweat of our comrades and friends from civil life. Now that we have come to this, I think we need to give it some more time," the GOC of the 15 Corps said.
On reports of Kashmiris waving ISIS flags in the valley at frequent intervals, he said, "We see flags every Friday. Is that flag actually sponsored by IS? I don't know. There are some youths who come and wave flags. They know that it will grab your attention. It is only to grab attention. A twelve second flag-waving is shown for 30 minutes in the evening on the news. So, that is it. But, it is the manifestation of some radicalisation. It is there to see...it is that radicalisation that we have to guard against."