Riled and rattled by India revoking special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) along with bifurcating the state into two Union territories and its acceptance/no objection by many countries, Pakistan’s political and military establishments have been in a tizzy. Pakistan’s first reaction was its propaganda machine getting into overdrive with a campaign of fake news about conditions in J&K.
Some examples of many false, malicious and ridiculous claims:
•Member of ‘Azadi for Kashmir’ campaign, Shehla Rashid alleged that the situation in J&K being grim, armed forces using excessive force on the Kashmiris, J&K Police have no authority on law and order situation and are rendered powerless, Army soldiers entering houses in the middle of the night, picking up boys and ransacking the homes, deliberately mixing oil with rice etcetera.
•Abdullah Gul, son of Pakistan’s former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) DG Hamid Gul, tweeted a video on 10 August in which cries were heard as people rescue the injured. Abdullah Gul claimed that the viral video is from Kashmir where a massacre had started.
•Indian Army personnel burning houses of Kashmiris and also burning individuals.
The fact is that in 50 days not a single bullet has been fired by any of the security forces deployed in J&K. With the separatist network in Kashmir Valley missing owing to being arrested, Pakistan army and ISI became desperate and have been trying to resort to any which way to induct terrorists into India.
While this author had mentioned in some articles in February 2019 about ISI providing sea training to Jaish e Mohammad (JeM), Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh recently cited intelligence reports about JeM being trained for underwater attacks. After some abandoned boats found at Gujarat’s Sir Creek, the Army received intelligence inputs that terrorists can attack the southern part of India. Subsequently, ports in Gujarat were put on high alert after intelligence agencies received inputs that Pakistani commandos were likely to infiltrate into Indian waters through the Kutch area and use the sea route to try and incite communal trouble or carry out a terror attack in Gujarat. Lt Gen. SK Saini, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “We have got many inputs that there may be a terrorist attack in the southern part of India and peninsular India. There have been some abandoned boats also which have been recovered in the area of Sir Creek…We have undertaken measures for capacity building and capability development in the area of Sir Creek keeping in mind the enhanced threat”.
Following his statement, the police in Kerala issued an alert to all districts to be vigilant, especially in the coastal belt. They have also been directed to maintain caution at crowded areas including bus stands, railway stations, airports and shopping malls. In August 2019, Adani Port and Logistics, which manages the country’s largest private port, issued a statement that inputs had been received from an Indian Coast Guard station that Pakistani commandos are likely to infiltrate into Indian territory through Kutch area, preferably via sea route to create communal disturbance or terrorist attack in Gujarat.
The latest unprecedented attempt by Pakistan army/ISI was of sending at least eight drones, carrying a total of 80 kg of arms and ammunition, across the border into India’s Punjab by Pakistan-based Khalistani terror groups. The consignment was reportedly sent by Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), supported by ISI and orchestrated through Germany and Lahore with the ultimate aim of launching terror attacks in J&K. The details of these drops emerged following investigations following the weapons seizure in Tarn Taran district. The eight payloads were reportedly dropped in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.
Even as Pakistan’s all-weather friend China supported Pakistan in its attempt to raise the issue of India’s abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and 35A in Kashmir at the United Nations, the Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, recently released a paper titled Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang, which included India as one of the countries which are “victims of global spread and aggravation of terrorism and extremism”.
With Pakistan military’s desperation and target list increasing, all Indian states will be well advised to remain very alert.