Srinagar: It is official; more than 4,500 Kashmiri militants have received arms training in different terror camps in Pakistan and POK in the last 26 years of turmoil.
In a written reply in the Legislative Assembly, Jammu and Kashmir government said 4,587 Kashmiri youth crossed over to Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (for arms training).
This excludes the foreign militants who have trained in Pakistan and were pushed into Jammu and Kashmir for carrying out terror and other subversive activities during the last 26 years.
Figures released by the Jammu and Kashmir Police reveal that 5,504 security forces men, including army, paramilitary soldiers, and local policemen were killed in the war against terror in the strife torn Jammu and Kashmir from 1990 to 2014.
Official figures reveal that there were approximately 6,800 militants of different outfits active during 1996 in the state which, however, got reduced to 240 and 199 in 2013 and 2014 (January) respectively.
Fast forward to 2016, there are currently only 145 militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir. “Of the 145 militants operating in the state, 91 are locals and 54 are foreigners”, said the government.
Jammu and Kashmir government also noted that Four hundred eighty nine youth along with their wives and children have returned from Pakistan/Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to Jammu and Kashmir via Nepal with effect from 2003 till 22 May 2016.
Jammu and Kashmir government said they have sanctioned a policy and procedure for rehabilitation of misguided youth who have crossed to Pakistan occupied Kashmir/Pakistan but have given up insurgent activities due to change of heart and are willing to return to the state.
“The policy recognises four routes for the return of misguided youth. Nepal is not an approved under the policy”, said the reply.
Union Ministry of Home affairs however have sought the comments of the state government on the inclusion of Nepal route as an additional entry point for Kashmiri youth stranded in Pakistan to return to the state.
“The state government has recently forwarded its comments to the MHA”, said the state government in the reply.