NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag had claimed on the occasion of Army Day on January 15 that active terror camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) had reduced from 42 to 17 due to international pressure. However, records of intelligence agencies available with Express suggest the opposite.
According to the agencies, over 160 terror camps are operating in the area between Muzzafarabad and Lahore, where the ISI and Pakistan Army are training militants belonging to multiple terror outfits. The Pathankot terror strike is just a reminder of what Pakistan-sponsored militant groups are capable of.
It has been made clear by India that the peace dialogue initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will not happen as long as terror camps exist. Security experts believe it is high time for India’s political leadership to allow Myanmar-type surgical strikes on these camps.
The updated list of terror camps name areas in PoK such as Abdullah Bin Masud, Shavai Nallah, Garhi Dupatta, Pir Chinasi, Dudhniyal and Shamas-ul-Haq in Muzaffarabad . Nearly 45-50 terrorists are being trained in each camp. Intelligence agencies believe the training lasts for 30 to 35 days before the terrorists are sent to their launch pads along the LoC. The agencies have also identified the outfits training in the camps — Hizbul Mujahideen, Laskhar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, HuJI, Al-Badr etc. In some camps, militants of smaller mixed groups are also trained.
Agencies have provided pinpointed information about the exact locations of 18 terror camps, the strength of each camp, and which one is under the direct supervision of the Pakistan Army. “There are three kinds of camps, for recruitment, training and launching attacks respectively,” said an intelligence officer.
Listing details of militant activity in Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, intelligence claims terrorist training camps are located in Jangal Mandi, Shinkiari, Boi, Garhi Habibullah, Oghi, Elaqa-e-Ghair, Attar Shisha, Skardu base camp, Beesian in Balakot, Jalo Gali, Andher Bela and more. The updated list also contains a list of dormant camps that can be activated by ISI anytime, in Khewadi, Qayumabad and Gaurikot. The Indian Army and other security forces have been provided with a detailed list of launch pads close to the LoC.
By Pradip R Sagar
Published: 17th Jan 2016