`Pak has trained Kashmiri militants in reserve`

The unidentified commander said Pak`s military is still training militants to carry out proxy wars in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

New York: Pakistan has kept 12,000-14,000
fully trained Kashmiri militants in reserve and would use
them, if needed, in a war with India, according to a former
militant commander.

The unidentified commander, who enjoyed military
patronage, said Pakistan`s military is still training
militants to carry out proxy wars in Kashmir and Afghanistan,
the New York Times reported.

"Pakistan has 12,000 to 14,000 fully trained Kashmiri
fighters, scattered throughout various camps in Pakistan, and
is holding them in reserve to use if needed in a war against
India," he was quoted as saying.

The commander also said that militant groups like
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Hizbul Mujahideen
are run by religious leaders, with the Pakistani military
providing training, strategic planning and protection to them.

"There are two bodies running these affairs, `mullahs`
and retired Generals," he said and named a number of former
military officials involved in the programme, including ex-
chiefs of the intelligence service and other former Generals.

"These people have a very big role still," he said.

Over the years, he estimated that he personally trained
up to 4,000 militants. He fought and trained other militants
in Kashmir, Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan, the report said.

The entire enterprise was supported by the Pakistani
military and executed by Pakistani militant groups, he said.

The former militant commander was paid by a wing of the
ISI, the paper said.

Fighters were paid about USD 50 a month, he was quoted as
saying, and commanders about USD 500.