There is likely to be an increase in militant attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits such as Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfits, intelligence agencies have said in their briefing to the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh was informed by these agencies that the two militant outfits, especially the JeM, could take the lead in fomenting trouble in Kashmir, giving Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) “time to regroup”, a senior ministry functionary said.
While JeM and LeT comprise foreign and Kashmiri militants, HM is mostly a Kashmiri outfit.
Quoting intelligence inputs, the official added that Pakistan-based militant outfits made the decision after the killings of senior commanders of HM in the last two years. This includes 21-year-old Burhan Wani, who was killed by security forces in July 2016, sparking off a five-month violent agitation in the Valley.
“The home minister is personally monitoring the situation and has directed security agencies to take all necessary steps to fight off foreign militants coming from Pakistan,” said the official.
Intelligence documents obtained by HT suggest that the LeT is “all set to campaign for growth in recruitment of militants” inside Kashmir.
State intelligence units have cited a speech by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, who spoke at “Difat-e-Ummat Conference-2018” organised by Difa-e-Pakistan Council, Pakistan, at Dhobi Ghat in Faisalabad on January 12. Saeed, charge-sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly sponsoring violent protests in the Valley, said that his organisation, Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), would observe 2018 as the “year of Kashmir”.
“While speaking at the conference in Faisalabad, primarily aimed to express solidarity with people of Kashmir and Palestine, Hafiz Saeed said that he and separatist leaders in the valley were repeatedly imprisoned,” the intelligence note states.