SRINAGAR: Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi on Friday revealed that retired Pakistan soldiers are part of militant ranks operating in Jammu and Kashmir and stated that the two Lashkar militants killed in Rajouri encounter were highly trained and might have been trained in many countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We have found that some militants operating in J&K were retired Pakistani soldiers. There are no local recruits here and they are pushing foreign terrorists to carry out militant activities. Our effort is to eliminate all the foreign militants operating in J&K,” Lt Gen Dwivedi told reporters after participating in a wreath-laying ceremony for the five soldiers killed in a two-day-long encounter with Lashkar militants in Kalakote forest area of Rajouri.
Two Lashkar militants including a top commander and Pakistani militant Qari were also killed in the two day encounter. Army used Special forces, unmanned aerial vehicles, night enabled cameras and other modern equipment during the two-day encounter. Terming the killing of two LeT militants as a major setback to militancy in border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Lt Gen Dwivedi said they were active in the belt from last one year.
“They had carried out many killings in the last one year and we were unable to track them as they used to hide in the dense forest area. They used to get weapons, ammunition and supplies for somebody. We have suffered casualties in the encounter but killed both dreaded militants,” he said. The Northern Army commander said the two LeT militants were well trained and heavily armed. “It seems that they were trained in many countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan”.
The slain LeT militants, he said, were responsible for killing of civilians in Dangri, Kandi and Rajouri TCP this year. Asked how many militants are active in Poonch and Rajouri, he said about 20- 25 militants are active in the region. “We will be able to root them out and control the situation within a year,” he added.