ISI hiring women, juveniles for terror acts: Army
The General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla said the forces need to be cautious as people sitting across the Line of Control (LoC)
SRINAGAR: A ‘dangerous move’ by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and heads of terror groups to rope in women and juveniles to carry weapons and messages has come to light amid a decline in the use of traditional means of communication by terrorists in Kashmir, a top army officer has said.
The General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, also known as Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla also said the forces need to be cautious as people sitting across the Line of Control (LoC) are busy scheming and planning to disturb the prevailing peaceful atmosphere.
“Today’s threat is involving women, girls and juveniles in carrying messages, drugs or, at times, weapons. So far, the army has detected some cases highlighting an emerging trend which in itself is a dangerous move that Pakistan’s ISI and heads of ‘tanzeems’ (terror groups) have adopted. We, along with other agencies, are jointly working out on this,” Lt Gen Aujla said.
Asked if it means that terror groups have stopped using mobile communication, the army officer said the Techint (technical intelligence) signatures have reduced considerably. Also, many Over Ground Workers (OGWs) who acted as conduits for them have been picked up.
“Therefore, women, girls and juveniles have been roped in as an alternative to mainly carry messages,” the top army officer in the valley said.
As part of the deradicalisation strategy, the army, with the cooperation of the Union Territory administration, has undertaken a series of initiatives - one of which is the ‘Sahi Rasta’ (right path) programme that has in recent times proved to be a game changer in the right earnest.
“We have come a long way in ensuring peace and stability in Kashmir, but I will be naive to claim an early victory as we feel that every gain needs to be cemented before achieving lasting peace in the Union territory,” he said.
Without naming Pakistan, Lt Gen Aujla said the challenge is that the neighbouring country has not given up on its intent and is repeatedly creating trouble on both sides of Pir Panjal. The latest infiltration bid in the Machil sector of north Kashmir is a testimony of his blatant indulgence.