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J&K Lens: Why Pakistan uses tunnels to push in terrorists into Indian side

25/11/2020 at 1:33 PM

Tunnels offer a silent route to terrorists. They are able to cross over without being detected or neutralised at the border itself, for they have the advantage of moving at their pace and they have the prior knowledge of the patrolling and high vigil points of Border Security Force that guards the international border.

By: Arun Joshi

The discovery of cross-border tunnels at the international border between India and Pakistan in plains of Jammu have far bigger ramifications than anticipated so far as it establishes quite firmly that Pakistan is making all out attempts to disturb peace in Kashmir through the tool it knows best- terrorism.

It is now resorting to both the traditional and the unconventional methods to push in terrorists into the Indian side, and that, too at a time when the District Development Council polls are underway. These polls, one of the strongest pillars of grassroots democracy are   being held for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, that’s what has made it very crucial in its journey of democracy from top to bottom.

Till the time these elections were announced early November this year, the people in this part of the country had known Assembly and Parliamentary elections only. The polls to the urban local bodies and panchayats existed in peripheries for those were held in the most irregular fashion.

Three days after the security forces foiled a big terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on November 19, by eliminating four terrorists, a huge tunnel measuring about 200 meters at Indo-Pak border in Samba, about 60 kms south west of Jammu was discovered on November 22. It was not something new. Pakistani terrorists have been digging tunnels and using them to cross over to the Indian side of the border to execute their assigned terror assaults.

New thing, this time, was hat these tunnels not only established the route and the methodology used by the terrorists on November 19 along with a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, but also the fact that there is a complete synergy between Pakistani army, border Rangers and the terrorists to cause mayhem in Kashmir.  It is impossible to dig such a cross-border tunnel without the knowledge of the border rangers of Pakistan. The whole plot is drawn up jointly and then it is left to be executed by the terrorists drawn from various terror outfits nurtured by Pakistani establishment, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al Badr and so many others who keep on changing their names from time to time to escape the international attention.

Significance of tunnels for Pakistan

Tunnels offer a silent route to terrorists. They are able to cross over without being detected or neutralised at the border itself, for they have the advantage of moving at their pace and they have the prior knowledge of the patrolling and high vigil points of Border Security Force that guards the international border.

The tunnels are dug for days together, while drones used by Pakistan deliver pictures to them about the location and the patrolling points by the Indian border guards. Drones are now being used quite regularly by Pakistan for two purposes- surveillance on the Indian side, and sometimes these are used for the arms dropping, too. These weapons are picked up by militants who are told about the location of the consignment before hand. There have been some instances where the militants from the Valley have traveled to Jammu’s border areas, picked up weapons and moved back to the Valley.

The tunnel digging methodology is specific to the borders in plainly. It is not used at the Line of Control that meanders through rivers, rocks, jungles and snowcapped mountains. Jammu and Kashmir has two kinds of borders – International border with Pakistan in the plains of Jammu, and Line of control or LoC in the mountains and jungles.

At LoC, Pakistan has used these methodologies (1) open infiltrations; terrorists pushed by Pakistan negotiate hard rocks, mountains and walk through the mountainous passes during summers when these are snow-free. (2) They scale the fence erected by India along LoC with the help of high wooden poles and then jump on the Indian side (3) others are trained to scale high walls of snow which bury the fence (4) river route, there have been instances where the terrorists have come via boats.

Tunnels are mostly used in the plains, because these are easy to dig. The soil is soft as most of the area on both sides of the international border is agricultural land. This is irrigated regularly and this as made the soil suitable for digging tunnels and enabling the terrorists to come out in darkness.

The over ground workers of terrorist outfits who help them in choosing locations and hiding the same work as force multipliers.

This is why Pakistan is now preferring this mode to push in terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

About the Author:

Arun Joshi

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express and The Tribune.

He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.


Read More from the Author: J&K Lens: Truth about Pakistan as terrorism hub exposed; Pak admits Pulwama attack after repeated denials

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