NEW DEHLI: India’s Home Minister S K Shinde alleged on Sunday that Pakistan was helping terrorists infiltrate into India.
“We have information that Pakistan is helping terrorists to enter our territory. We have intelligence inputs. But we are alert,” he told reporters in the Indian capital on Sunday.
In the past, terrorists targeted devotees celebrating Dussehra and Diwali, the two biggest Hindu festivals – which coincide with heavy snowfall on mountainous passes between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Hence, it falls around the time of the year when traditionally, the last tranche of infiltrators enter India via Kashmir.
With a ceasefire in place for more than 10 years now, the India-Pakistan border has not been the only route for infiltration. More importantly, India’s home-grown groups have made it near impossible to differentiate between foreign infiltrators and local militants.
Security forces are usually doubly alert during the festival season, when most of India is holidaying and huge crowds throng the streets every night – political observers hence feel Shinde has pre-empted any blame heading the way of his ministry if any untoward incident occurs. The home minister, however, did not specifically mention Pakistan’s premier spy agency.
The last such “warning” to Pakistan came from Shinde’s predecessor P Chidambaram in 2009.
“If terrorists from Pakistan try to carry out any attacks in India, they will not only be defeated but will be retaliated against very strongly,” Chidambaram had said. Pakistan, he added, was sending infiltrators into India, but “we have the strength to tackle any such infiltration”.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2012.
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