Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pakistan up to something big, Army informs Antony


SRINAGAR: Defence minister A K Antony has asked for ‘intensive operations’ against militants and stepping up of vigilance on the Line of Control to ensure development process in Jammu and Kashmir does not fall prey to militant activities.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah requested Mr Antony to consider more recruitment of the youth from border belts in defence services and using choppers to address the winter isolation of these areas.

During his day-long visit to Jammu, Mr Antony was briefed about the repeated infiltration bids from Pakistan and the status of the counter-insurgency operations. Border Security Forces gave the visiting minister a detailed presentation about the recent bid to infiltrate, using dynamite to destroy the fence on the international border.

Militants who returned after over 40 minutes of firing on BSF positions, according to the presentation, had used cordex wire to blast an IED that destroyed a vast portion of fencing including cobra wire and seven wires of concertina . The incident took place between Pillar Nos. 621 and 627 near Alfa Machail post in Gho Manasan area between Domana and Kanachak sectors.

The Army informed the minister about the ongoing operations against militants. They referred to the encounter in a Pulwama village in which one militant was killed. Reports said another militant who was besieged had actually fled. Reports from Jammu suggested that a senior Army officer in the unified headquarters meeting told the defence minister that “Pakistan is up to something big” and “we need to know what it is” .

“Outside forces inimical to the country are making several attempts to infiltrate borders, therefore, there is need to heighten vigilance,” Mr Antony told the meeting. He complemented J&K Police and security forces for efficiently handling incidents in Lal Chowk, Khrew, Pulwama and Reasi and hoped such incidents would be handled with same efficiency. He informed the meeting that the Army had vacated all hospitals and school buildings in the state.

Mr Antony asked the defence forces to mount pressure on militants to neutralise them at every level. He said the current situation called for intensive operations against militants in the state, and also put an effective mechanism in place along the LoC and international border to check infiltration.

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