Srinagar: Pakistan-based militant groups have embarked on a dangerous mission whereby they are using narco-terrorism to target Gen-X and keep the pot boiling in the militancy-plagued Jammu and Kashmir.

Sensing trouble, Indian army has now deployed specialized anti-narco dogs in the border areas to foil Pakistan’s designs to turn Kashmir into `Udta Kashmir’. This follows seizure of drugs and ammunitions across north Kashmir in the last one month.

Six kilograms of high-grade brown sugar (valued at Rs 60 crore) that was being smuggled from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), was seized at Kamalkote near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector of Baramulla district last month. Police arrested two drug smugglers, including a woman, in this connection.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, Abdul Qayoom, said brown sugar packs carry Pakistani stamp and markings in Urdu.

“Besides, we have also recovered more than 920 rounds of AK 47 riffle. Both drugs and bullets were found in the same spot in two different bags. We cannot rule out narco-terrorism link”, he said.

The militant groups use proceeds from sale of drugs to fund militancy in the valley.

“Smugglers hurl packets of drugs over the LoC fence from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir into a pre-designated place in Kashmir, which is informed to the conduits”, said Qayoom.

Police is looking into the narco-terrorism angle to find out the links between drug smugglers and militants.

“We have questioned the duo. They have said that they have already sold some portion of the drugs. We are investigating the matter and trying to reach to the bottom of the case”, said Qayoom.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, Indian army has pressed highly trained anti-narco dogs in border areas, particularly in Tangdhar sector to thwart designs of the militant groups. Last week Indian army recovered one gram heroin wrapped in a silver foil along the high altitude Sadhana Pass on Kupwara-Tangdhar Highway.

“Indian army has planned to deploy more such dogs in its permanent and mobile check posts to curb drug trafficking in Karnah tehsil. The move will not only wean away youth from the menace but also help the civil administration to put drug traffickers behind bars”, said a defence spokesman.

However, this is not the first incident when security forces have recovered drugs smuggled from Pakistan. It is an operation that is happening systematically for several years now.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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