Night Watch: KATHMANDU – Due to New Delhi’s improved security operations in Jammu-Kashmir in limiting the number of Islamic militants from Pakistan and Kashmir from crossing the Line of Control (LoC) there are now intelligence reports that Islamic militants are using Nepal, along India’s northeastern border, as an alternate infiltration route into India, as they head to Kashmir for attacks. This is an alarming significant new development. I had lunch Monday with an Indian Colonel and he was certain the infilitration had been contained. [IRNA]
The intelligence reports were based on the surrender of two Islamic militants; Manzoor Ahmad Lone of the al-Barq unit and Nazir Ahmed Lone of Tehrike-e-Jehad. They are both from the Kupwara district of Kashmir. Their passports and identity cards were issued by the Pakistan government. These latest developments have caused the third high level security meeting in New Delhi in less than two weeks. The meeting today is being chaired by India’s army chief General J. J. Singh also in attendence will be Home Secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal, the heads of the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wings, the heads of the various Central Paramilitary forces and State Police Chief Gopal Sharma.
They will be discussing the indications that Islamabad is sending more militants into the disputed valley, the cause of two of the three wars between India/Pakistan. Last September both capitals celebrated the 40th anniversary of their second war that began in 1965 that month. The Colonel I had lunch with said September is the best month for war since the rains of the monsoon season are over. Last year crossfirewar.com reported Islamabad stated that they want to settle the Kashmir issue by December 2006.
Current reports have said nearly 70 militants had infiltrated into the valley through Kupwara, Uri and Athmugam in North Kashmir. I have been covering this war for quite some time and these are names I’m not familiar with. It’s obvious the war is expanding. Another four dozen crossed into Jammu, further west, from the Mendhar sector of the Poonch district.
The current high level meeting, reported to have lasted 90 minutes, was held just days after India National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan expressed his serious apprehension and concerns about the increased infilitration. It is his belief that the reason Pakistan is encouraging it now is in order for Islamabad to silence Islamic hardliners in Pakistan who are critical of Islamabad’s attack on al-Qaeda bases along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
War with India will no doubt silence quite a few of them, especially if it leads to the end of New Delhi’s control of the disputed territory that is predominantly Muslim, enabling Kashmiri people to hold their long demanded referendum in which they can determine their own future. But I don’t believe Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf is increasing the infilitration just to achieve domestic popularity. He knows that as a result of the Khomeini revolution in Tehran the balance of power may have shifted in Paksitan’s direction. With the radical Islamic government firmly in place in Tehran, nuclear armed and a massive military-financial supporter of Islamabad, Pakistan is aware they have more support than ever before. Even Saudi Arabia may join the conflict since they purchased the CSS-2 missile from China 20 years ago and it is capable of reaching all of India. President Musharraf and his administration know they have to take advantage of it. Especially since India has taken serious steps to upgrade its military with help from Russia and the U. S.
Concerning the other new significant development about Nepal allowing its border with India to be used as a new invasion route, the reason could be Pakistan, last year, stating they support Nepal’s territorial integrity. Last year Nepalese writers contacted me and published several articles on crossfirewar.com detailing India’s support of the Maoists terrorist activity in Nepal for the last 10 years and that New Delhi has designs on Nepal’s territory. With Islamabad’s, and I assume Tehran’s support of Kathmandu, then Nepal’s government may be giving tacit approval to Islamic militants using Nepal as another avenue of infiltration into India. That would prevent India from concentrating too many of its forces in one area.