The Pakistani Army is training terrorists for cross-border raids in India, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen AK Bhatia told his Pakistani counterpart on Thursday.
The DGMO, in his telephonic talk with his Pakistani counterpart, identified a specific area serving as a terror launch pad near the Line of Control (LoC), top army sources told DNA.
The communication was cited as “specific” based on technical surveillance and human intelligence that establishes mobilisation across the LoC.
The DGMO also informed his counterpart that India would be repatriating two Pakistani nationals arrested in connection with last year’s terror attack on a military base in Uri, in which 19 soldiers were killed.
The two – Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed – were handed over to the army by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and will be sent back to Pakistan from the Wagah border on March 10.
“Specific inputs about Pakistani regular forces training terrorists for cross-border raids along with a specific location has been shared,” said an army officer.
Sources said that recent intelligence inputs indicated that terrorists have been regrouping at launch pads.
“This year, till now, there have been 25 infiltration attempts, and three have been successful,” said an army source.
Last year, there were more than 100 successful infiltrations.
An intelligence report has identified 17 terror launch pads in Pakistan that have been active after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes destroying such camps in September 2016.
According to the report, there are close to 300 terrorists at these launch pads. It also identifies “reception” areas in Indian territory.
Incidentally, the conversation took place even as an encounter between terrorists and security forces was on in the Awantipora area of Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
This year, 27 terrorists have been gunned down in Jammu and Kashmir and nine security personnel have lost their lives in operations, while 20 died due to bad weather. Security forces faced increased challenges in 2016, with the number of casualties increasing. However, with tension escalating and frequent encounters, the number of terrorist killed also went up. While 63 securitymen were killed in 2016, 39 died in 2015 and 26 in 2014.
The Indian Army’s surgical strikes had pushed back terrorists from the launch pads that are metres away from the LoC and international border. However, in the last few months there has been considerable mobilisation, intelligence inputs indicate.