Central agencies and security forces convened in a high-level meeting early this January, expressing apprehension about the escalating retrieval of both conventional and sophisticated weaponry along the India-Pakistan border. The concerns stem from the increased recovery of grenades, AK series arms, ammunition, IEDs, detonators, and wireless devices.
Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir have witnessed a notable uptick in the discovery of specific weaponry and IEDs, including the infamous AK series arms. Government assessments indicate that these arms might be finding their way to terror outfits in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), attempting infiltration. Notably, high-grade drones play a crucial role in this supply chain.
Highlighting the seriousness of the situation, a senior official suggested that the resurgence in the supply of arms, ammunition, and advanced drones to terror groups hints at the involvement of the Taliban in facilitating these weapons. It is suspected that groups facing financial constraints are renewing their supplies.
Data from the Border Security Force (BSF) reveals that Kashmir remains a focal point for arms and ammunition supply, with 31 weapons and 1,480 ammunition seized in 2023. Notably, there is an increase in the recovery of AK ammunition, and grenades show an upward trend.
A recent attack in Poonch, where four soldiers lost their lives, revealed the use of sophisticated US-made M4 carbine assault rifles by the claiming terror outfit. The M4, developed in the United States, was among the weaponry left behind in Afghanistan by the US.
BSF data also indicates that AK series weapons were recovered from the Gurdaspur area, supplied from the Pakistani side via drones last year.
A senior official in Jammu & Kashmir commented on the evolving tactics of terrorists, noting a shift from targeting civilians in hit-and-run attacks to focusing on forces with highly sophisticated weapons and gadgets. There is also a noticeable change in their area of operation, with terrorists now targeting forces in jungle areas rather than the city.
Both BSF and local police have observed a strategic shift by Pakistan, employing high-end, expensive drones to transport drugs, arms, and ammunition. These high-definition drones, capable of flying at significant altitudes and carrying heavy payloads at increased speeds, pose a formidable challenge to the security forces deployed along the Indo-Pak border.
In the last two months alone, the Border Security Force has apprehended close to 20 drones, signaling a notable change in Pakistan’s approach. These drones, priced between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 11 lakh in the market, underscore the evolving dynamics of cross-border security challenges.