Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
New Delhi: The Indian Army is currently in the midst of one of the largest anti-infiltration operations in Jammu and Kashmir as they attempt to flush out around 30 to 40 militants who have occupied a ghost village along the Line of Control in Keran sector.
While infiltration attempts are not new for the Army, what’s worrying them this time is the fear that Pakistan, under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, could be trying to do a second Kargil. This is because the Army suspects among the 40-odd men are members of the Pakistan Special Forces.
The Army claims it is in control of the situation in Keran where the operation, which has been on now for over a week, against militants has till now led to injuries being suffered by at least five Indian soldiers.
"We are in total control of the operation which was launched on September 24. The reports of our posts being captured by the infiltrators are absurd," General Officer Commanding of the Army`s 15 Corps Lt General Gurmit Singh said on Wednesday.
The infiltration began just ahead of the crucial meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 29.
The issue that was focussed upon during the meeting was maintaining peace on the LoC.
It may be recalled that in May1999, Pakistani troops and militants were found to have occupied abandoned Indian Army posts in Kargil by shepherds. That infiltration had taken place in the winter of 1998-99.
When the Kargil war took place, the man in power in Pakistan was the same Sharif, and the Army was led by General Pervez Musharraf. The Kargil intrusion too was discovered just months after the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had gone to Lahore on a ‘peace bus’.
Suspecting the involvement of Pakistani special troops this time around too, Lt Gen Singh said, "From the operation that is going on till now and the strength (of infiltrators) and the multiple points they attempted (to infiltrate), give the indication that definitely there were some special troops. This is quite different from the trend we have seen in the earlier infiltration attempts”."
Lt Gen Singh said the operation was started on the basis of specific intelligence inputs about possible infiltration in Keran sector by militants from across the LoC.
Although the Army commander maintained it will be premature to say whether the Pakistan Army was involved in the infiltration of militants, he said there were definite indications that some special troops were part of it.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Army has denied as baseless infiltration attempts from across the LoC into Jammu and Kashmir.