Saturday, Jun 25, 2022
Outlook.com

Weapons Recovered From Militants Along LoC Belong To US Troops Left in Afghanistan

For the first time, Army says weapons recovered from militants along LoC are of US troops left behind in Afghanistan.

Weapons Recovered From Militants Along LoC Belong To US Troops Left in Afghanistan
Militants in Jammu and Kashmir. PTI

Since the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan, many analysts have been talking about the likely impact of the Afghanistan situation on Kashmir. However, senior officers’ within security agencies have been very sceptical of such views. Now for the first time, the Army has said the situation is altering as weapons used by the US troops in Afghanistan have been found from militants killed along the LoC in north Kashmir.      

The General Officer Commanding Baramulla based 19 Infantry Division, Major General Ajay Chandpuria told reporters weapons and devices recovered from infiltrators killed at the Line of Control were not commonly seen and they were being used in Afghanistan until the American troops left in August last.

He says the situation in Kashmir was different when American troops were in Afghanistan. “As long as American troops were in Afghanistan the situation was different. Since they have left, terrorist organisations, whose members were fighting there or new-generation weapons have started coming to Pakistan and from Pakistan to the Line of Control. According to our intelligence sources around 100 to 130 terrorists are in the launch pads. The training camps which were earlier closed have again started functioning,” he said. He said the deployment along with the Line of Control and the intelligence network of the Army has foiled infiltration attempts. “According to our assessment in Kashmir there might be 150 to 200 terrorists and 40 to 45 among them are Pakistanis,” he said.

The GOC said in spite of ceasefire understanding last year six to eight attempts of infiltrations were made at the LoC. “The weapons recovered from neutralised terrorists are not usually seen here. The equipment seems to be from Afghanistan when American troops were there. We have this analysis not only weapons but even terrorists from Afghanistan can come here,” he added.  He says the equipment recovered from infiltration bids eliminated along the LoC are not the equipment profile of the Pakistan army and it is not difficult to assess where does it come from.

On Feb 25, the DGsMO of India and Pakistan issued a joint statement that said, “In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb the peace and lead to violence. Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight February 24-25 Feb 2021.”

This is the first time since the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan that the LoC is calm and peaceful. According to the Army sources this year not a single ceasefire violation has been reported along the LoC or the International Border after the reaffirmation of the ceasefire agreement. Up to Feb 24 from January 2021, otherwise, the Indian army says, 740 ceasefire violations were recorded from the Pakistani side. Thus, the situation seems more comfortable than 2004 along the LoC.

In 2004, there had been only one ceasefire violation.

In subsequent years the LoC saw an increase and decrease in the ceasefire violations like in 2007 there were 21 ceasefire violations; in 2008 77 such violations were reported but 2009 saw a dip again with 28 ceasefire violations. In 2010, 44 ceasefire violations were reported. In 2013, 199 incidents of ceasefire violations were recorded.

There was a slight dip in the ceasefire violations when the NDA came into power in 2014. That year saw 153 ceasefire violations. 2015 remained at 152. From 2016, there was an abrupt increase with 228 violations in 2016, 860 in 2017, 1,629 in 2018.

In 2019 over 3,200 instances or an average of nine ceasefire violations were reported daily. Of these, 1,565 ceasefire violations took place since August 2019, after the BJP government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories amid communication blockade, siege and arrests of over 8000 people including three former chief ministers. But

“There has been peace this year along the LoC and no doubt it is a great sign. We are able to do our work without having to think whether it is safe to move out or not,” says Dr Sajad Shafi, NC leader from the Uri area in Baramulla.

However, says now that the LoC is peaceful both the Cross LoC trade and Cross-LoC travel should be resumed.

On April 9, 2019, India suspended cross LoC trade on grounds that the trade routes were being misused for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics, and fake currency. “During the ongoing investigations of certain cases by NIA, it has been brought out that a significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organizations involved in fuelling terrorism/separatism. Investigations have further revealed that some individuals, who have crossed over to Pakistan and joined militant organisations, have opened trading firms in Pakistan. These trading firms are under the control of militant organisations and are engaged in LoC trade,” a press release circulated that time by the Ministry of Home had said.

This is the first time since the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan that the LoC is calm and peaceful. According to the Army sources this year not a single ceasefire violation has been reported along the LoC or the International Border after the reaffirmation of the ceasefire agreement. Up to Feb 24 from January 2021, otherwise, the Indian army says, 740 ceasefire violations were recorded from the Pakistani side. Thus, the situation seems more comfortable than 2004 along the LoC.

In 2004, there had been only one ceasefire violation. In subsequent years the LoC saw an increase and decrease in the ceasefire violations like in 2007 there were 21 ceasefire violations; in 2008 77 such violations were reported but 2009 saw a dip again with 28 ceasefire violations. In 2010, 44 ceasefire violations were reported. In 2013, 199 incidents of ceasefire violations were recorded.

There was a slight dip in the ceasefire violations when the NDA came into power in 2014. That year saw 153 ceasefire violations. 2015 remained at 152. From 2016, there was an abrupt increase with 228 violations in 2016, 860 in 2017, 1,629 in 2018.

In 2019 over 3,200 instances or an average of nine ceasefire violations were reported daily. Of these, 1,565 ceasefire violations took place since August 2019, after the BJP government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories amid communication blockade, siege and arrests of over 8000 people including three former chief ministers.

2020 saw 5,100 incidents of ceasefire violations which are the all-time high in the past 17 years killing 36 people and wounding 130 others.

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