Ahead of UN meet, India, Pak exchange barbs over rising violence along LOC

Intelligence sources said terrorist infiltrations and firings are expected to increase from across the border so that Islamabad can portray the picture of a troubled Kashmir in front of the United Nations. Photo: PTI

Security forces along Jammu and Kashmir have been put on high alert, following Pakistan’s attempts to escalate tensions along the international border and Line and Control, just ahead of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Union Home Ministry has said.

A home ministry source called the violence along border as Pakistan’s attempts to draw the Union Nations’ attention to the Kashmir issue.

A security official, quoting intelligence reports, said terrorist infiltrations and firings are expected to increase from across the border so that Islamabad can portray the picture of a troubled Kashmir in front of the United Nations, whose General Assembly on September 17 will be attended by prominent world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.

The security beef-up comes just two days after the Army captured two Pakistani nationals with links with Lashkar-e-Taiba, while they were trying to enter the Indian side. On Wednesday, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt General KJS Dhillon and Additional Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Munir Khan accused Pakistan of pushing infiltrators into Kashmir to perpetrate terrorist activities.

An NDTV report stated that radio chatter intercepted by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and army inputs suggested that Pakistan-sponsored terrorists are planning a massive attack in the valley.

“Six months ago, religious shrines were on their target. Now, we can only speculate that Pakistan-sponsored terrorists are planning a massive attack in the Kashmir valley,” NDTV quoted a senior official in the intelligence wing as saying.

In view of this, security forces in the valley have been asked to be extra vigilant along the border and the hinterland to thwart any attacks by Pakistan army and terrorists.

“Before UN general assembly begins, Pakistan wants to paint a particular picture, so we are extra cautious,” NDTV quoted a senior government official as saying. The official said that restrictions will be reinforced in the valley on Friday (September 6), in view of the impending crisis, especially it being a prayer day.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, Pakistan has been trying to bring major world powers to its side by depicting a grim picture of the valley.

“However, barring China, no country has supported Pakistan. Hence, Islamabad will try its best to raise the Kashmir issue through escalation of violence along the border as well as in the hinterland,” another official said.

The Union Home Ministry has also issued a general advisory to all states and Union Territories asking them to strengthen security at sensitive places under their jurisdiction.

What Pakistan says

Pakistan on the other hand, has levelled similar allegations of cross-border terrorism against India and according to local media reports, depends on the United Nations to take a call on the Kashmir issue. Ever since the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan through media, protests and rallies has tried to sympathise and curry flavour with the “wronged” Kashmiris. While the Pakistan media is constantly churning out pro-Kashmir and anti-India reports, recently on the call of prime minister Imran Khan, tens of thousands of Pakistanis marched on to the streets in a mark of solidarity with Kashmiris.

The country observed its Defence and Martyrs’ Day on Friday (September 6) as Kashmir Solidarity Day.

While speaking at an event on the occasion, Chief of Pakistan Army Staff gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said the Kashmir issue was an “unresolved agenda” of the realisation of Pakistan and would remain so until a solution is found on the basis of the United Nations resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people.

Bajwa, according to a report by Dawn said state terrorism by India was its peak in “occupied Kashmir”. Assuring Kashmiris that “Pakistan will never leave them alone”, Bajwa said “Pakistan’s armed forces are ready to give every sacrifice for the people of Kashmir.”

Pakistan PM in his Defence Day message, applauded the “sacrifice of the armed forces” and alleged that the “enemy was once against showing aggressive postures on the Line of Control (LoC)” and that a “reign of terror” had been unleashed on the people of Kashmir.