Pakistan has reportedly shut down 13 training camps run by militant organisations Jaish-e- Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen in various parts of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The move is aimed to avoid being blacklisted ahead of the crucial meeting of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) member countries next week in Orlando. The FATF serves as an international terror watchdog that has repeatedly demanded ground action from Pakistan after India accused it of running terror camps to carry out "anti-national activities" on its soil.
The FATF has currently put Pakistan in its grey list and demanded solid evidence of action against the terror organisations to avoid being blacklisted. Pakistan's government and its intelligence agency are reportedly at loggerheads after the civilian administration led by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan ordered for the closing down of training camps, hospitals and educational institutions run by the militant outfits. The action is seen as an attempt to prevent Pakistan's economy from further deterioration, the Economic Times reported.
Notably, this is also for the first time that Pakistan has taken action against the terror camps in PoK. After the Mumbai blasts and Parliament attack in New Delhi, Pakistan had reportedly shut various terror modules in its Punjab province but no action was taken in the areas close to the Line of Control.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army sources have told the ET that the infiltration of militants from across the LoC to the Indian side has decreased considerably for the past few days which might be due to the relocation of these terror camps in the interiors.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed has lost at least three of its training camps in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur areas of the PoK due to Pakistan's government's fresh action. Jaish which had claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama terror attack also faced serious casualties at the hands of Indian armed forces post the Pulwama suicide attack.
Lashkar-e- Taiba headed by Hafeez Sayid which also lost its top militant commanders during various counter-insurgency operations in J&K during 2018 has also been asked to relocate its institutions from near LoC to interiors.
Is shutting down terror camps a cosmetic measure?
However, security experts are skeptical of any such move by Pakistan and view it as only a temporary measure to please the international community.
" There is no way to verify whether Pakistan has closed down terrorist camps or not". India will continue to maintain strict vigil on its borders," Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat said.
""I see this as an exercise by Pakistan to somehow mitigate the possibility of being put into the 'Black List' by the FATF to be held next week (June 16-21)" in Orlando, Florida," Major General SB Asthana, Chief Instructor at the United Service Institution told the New Indian Express.