‘FATF pressure a factor in reduction of terror’

NEW DELHI: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should not let Pakistan off the hook or it will ramp up its continuing support for cross-border terror into India, said Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday, adding there were as many as 250 to 300 terrorists present in camps and launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
“If Pakistan feels it has got away with it in the FATF, it will certainly ramp up cross-border terrorism. With the entire glare of FATF on it, Pakistan would tone down its activities and rhetoric. FATF is a factor (in the reduction of cross-border terror),” said Gen Naravane.
Though Pakistan is likely to continue in the “grey list” of the FATF, the global watchdog against money-laundering and terror financing, it will have to willy-nilly deliver on its commitments to the intergovernmental organisation if it does not want to be relegated to the “blacklist”. “Even China has realised that it cannot back its all-weather friend all the time,” said Gen Naravane.
The Indian Army, however, is taking no chances. The force is maintaining high operational readiness all along the 778-km long line of control (LoC), which continues to remain highly volatile with daily cross-border firing duels. If India recorded as many as 3,479 ceasefire violations and firings across the LoC and the 198-km international border in J&K in 2019, smashing all annual records since 2003, the number has already crossed 580 this year.
Though there is a discernible downturn in terrorist-initiated violence levels in Kashmir, with the Army maintaining relentless pressure on terror outfits, the LoC “remains very active”. Gen Naravane said, “Terrorists are trying to infiltrate on a daily basis, with Pakistan army often providing them covering fire. But we are well geared to tackle it, and are successfully thwarting infiltration attempts.”
“We are also getting regular inputs about BAT (border action team) operations and are able to foil them even before they are launched. Our troops are very well-trained and always in a high state of alertness to deter any misadventure,” he added.
With summer fast approaching, and snow in the mountain passes slowly melting, the Army is also recalibrating its counter-infiltration grid, which is likely to see additional troops being moved closer to the border. “There are 15-20 terror camps across the border, mostly in PoK, with each having 15 to 20 terrorists at any given time, though the numbers fluctuate. It looks like the snow will melt earlier than anticipated. It will lead to many more infiltration attempts. So, we are working out a summer strategy to ensure we are ready for all contingencies,” said the Army chief.
But civilians often get caught in the middle during ceasefire violations, with the two rival armies continue to shell each other and heavy-caliber weapons like artillery guns and anti-tank guided missiles also regularly coming into play, as well as intensive counter-terrorist operations in the hinterland.
India, for instance, lost 15 soldiers and 18 civilians, with many more being injured, in the cross-border firing duels last year. “I have also told our troops to be people-friendly and cause the least inconvenience to the local population,” said Gen Naravane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Uddhav Thackeray to meet Sonia as Cong, NCP firm on not allowing NPR

MUMBAI: CM Uddhav Thackeray will be in New Delhi on Friday to meet PM Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi even as Congress and NCP appear to have further piled up pressure on the Shiv Sena to reject the National Population Register, which the Sena is in favour of […]

Subscribe US Now