Pakistan moves 2,000 troops near LoC

Amid tensions over the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has moved almost a brigade-size force in the Bagh and Kotli sector close to the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The troops who have been moved are from a peace location and for now have been stationed around 30 kilometres from the Line of Control, Indian Army sources said. “At present, they have not been deployed in offensive posturing. However, the Indian Army is closely watching their movements,” the sources informed.

The sources further said that the movement of the Pakistan army troops has come at a time when it has already activated its terrorist infrastructure and the terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have started recruiting locals and Afghans in a big way.

It added that the troops moved by the Pakistan army are close to a brigade-size and their numbers would be more than 2000.

The Pakistan army has moved troops closer to the LoC at a time when Islamabad has been trying to fuel terrorism in the Valley. It has also been attempting to draw international attention and intervention by terming the prevailing situation between the two countries as very tense.

Since the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan deployed more than 100 SSG commandos along the LoC to push terrorists and incite violence in the state.

In the retaliatory fire, more than 10 SSG commandos have been killed by the Indian security forces. Pakistan has also deployed its special forces along the Sir Creek area opposite Gujarat.

Sources said that Pakistani agencies are also in the process of recruiting Afghan terrorists to carry out action against Indian security forces. Afghans are being recruited probably to replace the Kashmiri terrorists as local commanders.

The Indian Army is closely monitoring the activities of these commandos, who are seen working closely with JeM and other terrorist groups.

Army sources said the recruitment and training of terrorists belonging to both Lashkar and Jaish have started which had been partially stopped due to the FATF blacklisting threat.

After a month-long shutdown on communication after the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special rights to Jammu and Kashmir, administration restored landlines across the Valley. Apprehending more trouble in Kashmir, government had snapped landlines, mobiles and Internet services on the night of August 4, hours before the Home Minister made the formal announcement of scrapping Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha.

“Most telephone exchanges will be functional from September night across the Valley. Mobiles are being restored gradually; lines in Kupwara are already buzzing. I thank everyone for the patience and regret inconvenience caused,” said Srinagar district magistrate Shahid Choudhary.

Sources said that the government is planning to restore Internet in phases if the situation continues to improve in the Valley. The restrictions, especially the clampdown on communication, has left local residents frustrated and disrupted essential services.

Meanwhile, security forces have lifted barricades in Civil Lines, but blockades continue to prevail in the downtown. Shops, however, remained closed in Srinagar and other areas of the Valley.

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