A Pakistani terrorist who had been operating in Srinagar for the last two years and wanted to resurrect militancy in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district has been arrested, security forces have said.
The police say the terrorist, Mohammad Waqar Ahmed, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, crossed the border in July 2017. He was presented before journalists at a press conference in Srinagar today.
He is a resident of Mohalla Miana, Mianwai, in Pakistan's Punjab, Senior Superintendent of Police Abdul Qayoom said. He was trained in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
According to the police, Waqar was told that Muslims are not allowed to offer Namaz in Kashmir and are being persecuted, their houses are destroyed.
The police said he was an example how young people in Pakistan are being manipulated to join terrorism. Waqar has admitted that he found the conditions in the state to be nothing like what he had been told.
The police said they have also learnt from him how terrorists are trained and pushed across the border from Pakistan to carry out attacks. Waqar, however, had not carried out any attacks so far, they said.
"He was also trained for one month at the house of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (of LeT) in Rawalpindi and he met Lakhvi twice during that period," Senior Superintendent Qayoom said.
The joint press conference by the Army and the police was addressed by Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Corps Commander of the Army's Srinagar-headquartered 15 Corps, and Dilbag Singh, the Director General of Police (DGP).
Dilbag Singh said, the last year had been a "success", as far as anti-terrorism operations were concerned. 272 terrorists were killed by the security forces in the state last year, he added.
"In 2019, the security forces have killed 69 terrorists so far... After the Pulwama terror strike, we have killed 41 terrorists out of whom 25 belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit," Lt Gen Dhillon said.
"The entire leadership of the JeM has been decimated. Nobody is now ready to head the outfit in the Valley," he added.
The police officer said there was a marked fall in the numbers of local youths joining terrorism.
"There was a marked decrease in stone pelting incidents during 2018 as compared to the previous years," he added.
(With inputs from IANS)
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