New Delhi: The Army has a new headache in Jammu and Kashmir — Pakistan forcing civilians from PoK to challenge the Indian forces by marching to the Line of Control (LoC).
This new tactic by the Pakistan Army came to light last Friday, when a group of six civilians reached around 150 metres from the LoC in Lam area in Nowshera, Rajouri district, raising slogans. The Army was forced to open fire in the gaps to disperse the men.Worryingly, multiple intelligence inputs have come in indicating that Pakistan is planning to hold larger marches in the coming days, especially around the time when the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York later this month.
What’s Pakistan trying to do?
Army sources said Pakistan’s aim is to force Indian security forces to open fire, which will lead to casualties. It wants to showcase to the world that war is looming between the two countries, and that’s why it wants to keep the LoC heated up.
“Anyone crossing the LoC has to be dealt with in the way any Army would operate. A small group of people can be dispersed, but what happens when there is a larger group?” a source asked.
“They are desperate to cause violence in the Kashmir Valley but lack of internet and strict security presence along with restraint on part of the forces has led to zero cases of large-scale violence or casualties. Their aim is now to ensure that casualties of civilians take place at the LoC,” another source said.
‘Pakistan instigating civilians’
The Army said in a statement Friday that Pakistan Army posts are actively abetting and instigating civilians to violate the LoC.
While the Indian forces have been told to maintain restraint by firing in the gaps between people, crossing the LoC would bring in deadlier action.
At several places along the LoC, some Army posts are ahead of the fence. Usually, these posts are manned by a group of six soldiers, and the possible entry of a larger group of civilians will be a security risk.
According to one of the intelligence inputs, the Jamiat Ahl-e-Sunnat Khuiratta of PoK’s Kotli district has decided to breach the LoC on 20 September. The cadres are to be led by its chief organiser Zaffar Iqbal Ghazi.
Similarly, another intelligence input indicates that a different group is planning to breach the LoC from Garhi Dupatta on 21 September. The alert says this group could also involve children.