Ceasefire Violations Down But Pak Planning Terror Attack In J&K: Officials

Pakistan's intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in collaboration with terrorist organisations, is planning an attack in Jammu and Kashmir, said officials.

Ceasefire Violations Down But Pak Planning Terror Attack In J&K: Officials

Security has been tightened ahead of Independence Day, officials said. (Representational)

New Delhi:

Incidents of ceasefire violations and cross-border firings along the Line of Control (LoC) have shown the sharpest decline this year but officials said that Pakistan has once again started infiltration attempts and state-sponsored violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that according to intelligence inputs, Pakistan's intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in collaboration with terrorist organisations, is planning an attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

Eight new routes have been fixed by Pakistan to send terrorists into India while a control room has been set up in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), sources said.

"Lot of intelligence inputs indicate that this time security personnel might be on target. We have tightened the security grid further in view of Independence Day," a senior official in Kashmir said.

According to intelligence inputs circulated within various agencies, Pakistan's ISI has coordinated with banned terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Al Badr to plan the attack. A meeting was also held in PoK and Chalabandi Muzaffarabad, which is suspected to be the new control center of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Officials said intelligence inputs indicate that Pakistan has prepared 27 new terror launch pads near the Line of Control for infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir before August 15. Interceptions revealed that around 146 terrorists are present at various launch pads of PoK, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha that there has been a steep decline in incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan till June, compared to the number of ceasefire violations reported in 2020.

Only six incidents of ceasefire violations have been reported ever since India and Pakistan agreed in February to observe all pacts related to cross-border firings.

"As many as 664 instances of ceasefire violations were reported till June. While 2,140 ceasefire violations were recorded in 2018, the total figure stood at 3,479 in 2019 and 5,133 in 2020," Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said.

As per MHA statistics, a drastic reduction in cross-border firing has also been noticed. In January, 380 incidents were reported and in February, 278 were reported. Last year, the figures stood at 394 and 389 during the same months.

However, no such incident was reported in March this year, while 454 instances were recorded during the corresponding period last year. In April, there was only one incident, as against 412 in April last year, while three were reported in May compared to 398 during the same month last year and two in June compared to 423 in June 2020.

"Immediate and effective retaliation by the Indian Army and the Border Security Force personnel is carried out during instances of unprovoked firings and ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the Line of Control and the International Border," said the written reply.

Mr Rai said following scheduled talks between the Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan over hotline, a joint statement was issued on February 25, 2021 in which both India and Pakistan agreed to the strict observance of all agreements, understandings and ceasefire along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from the February 24-25 midnight 2021.

The minister said: "As per reports, representatives of various political parties in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed the statement. Several countries have issued statements welcoming the development as an important and positive step... government's consistent position has been that India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally and peacefully in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence."

"The onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible action to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross-border terrorism against India in any manner. India and Pakistan continue to maintain regular channels of communication through the respective High Commissions and other established mechanisms," he said.