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Srinagar: The launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir valley are abuzz with activities with around 60 to 80 terrorists, believed to be Afghan returnee mercenaries, receiving training with a possible push expected during summer months, officials here said.

The officials, however, feel that Pakistan will have to think several times before pushing them into the Indian side as Islamabad continues to be in the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force, and its sincerity could be gauged if it dismantles the terror infrastructure.

The officials said that after the 2019 pounding by the Indian army, the Pakistani side steered clear of the launch pads till early months of last year when they briefly emerged for some weeks and later disappeared again.

However, from August last year around 60-80 terrorists are present at these re-activated launch pads across the border and according to intelligence inputs and monitoring by the field units, the terrorists seem to be Afghan war returnees who are mostly Pakistani mercenaries.

The LoC has been witnessing ceasefire since last February and officials said that the Pakistani army, after facing severe reverses in 2019, has used this time for fortification of its positions along the border with around 8,000 tonnes of defence material.

The Pakistani army has also moved in around 60 heavy caliber guns besides strengthening its air defence system, artillery and mortars while taking advantage of the ceasefire which has been holding good since last year, the officials said.

They said that while the Indian Army maintains strategic advantage along the LoC, the time has also been used for further strengthening its position to ensure that designs of Pakistani army to push in terrorists during approaching summer is foiled.

The officials said that the anti-infiltration grid and surveillance along the LoC has been further beefed up to meet all kinds of challenges.

Following talks between the Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan over hotline, a joint statement was issued on February 25, 2021 in which the two countries agreed to the strict observance of all agreements, understandings and ceasefire along the LoC and all other sectors with effect from the February 24-25 midnight 2021.

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