Some terror camps in Pakistan had reinitiated operations against India, which conveyed its worries over U.S. military aid to Pakistan finding its way to terrorists, Army Chief Deepak Kapoor told top American officials, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
During a meeting between U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones and Defence Minister A.K. Antony in June 2009 in Delhi, in which General Kapoor was also present, the Army Chief spoke about “several” incidents of infiltration this year, including that of 40 terrorists in March. They were found possessing significant ammunition and other equipment, he said.
Details of the classified cable of the meeting released by the whistle-blower website was published on Friday by the Guardian newspaper.
Gen. Kapoor also told Mr. Jones that India had not made any threatening move against Pakistan even after the 26/11 terrorist strikes on Mumbai.
“Pakistani military's statements regarding the Indian threat on its eastern border are wholly without merit,” Gen. Kapoor said, adding, “India did not make any move of a threatening nature toward Pakistan.”
The Army Chief told Mr. Jones that “there are 43 terrorist camps in Pakistan, 22 of which are located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).”
Although the Pakistanis raided some camps in the wake of 26/11, Gen. Kapoor told Mr. Jones that some terror camps have reinitiated operations.
“Infiltration across the Line of Control cannot occur unless there is some kind of assistance and/or degree of support that is institutional in nature,” he said.
“India is worried,” Gen. Kapoor said, adding that “some part of the huge U.S. military package to Pakistan will find its way to the hands of terrorists targeting India“.
Furthermore, if “we can catch them [the infiltrators], why can't the Pakistani military?” he asked.
“There's a trust deficit between the U.S. and Pakistan but there's also one between India and Pakistan,” he said.
The cables say that Mr. Jones asked Gen. Kapoor how the Pakistanis react when they confront them with these incidents.
Gen. Kapoor replied that the Pakistanis remain in denial mode, but fortunately India's counter-infiltration posture is stronger than in the past.
Asked about the percentage of infiltrators that get through, Gen. Kapoor said the estimate was 15-20 per cent but cited the challenge posed by India's open border with Nepal.
He said that at least 16 terrorists this year entered India through Nepal and then travelled to Kashmir. Throughout his remarks, Gen. Kapoor stressed that infiltration bids were “acts of aggression.”
Mr. Jones also queried Gen. Kapoor on prospects of upgrading Indo-Pak. military talks to discuss these issues. But the Army Chief said there should be a degree of confidence in Pakistan before such a dialogue can even begin.
Mr. Antony said that unless there was some tangible follow-up action by Pakistan against the perpetrators of 26/11, discussions with Pakistan would be difficult.
Regarding terrorist camps in Pakistan, Mr. Jones told Mr. Antony and Gen. Kapoor that the U.S. would take up the issue with Pakistan, the cable said.
The meeting also discussed the situation in Afghanistan.
Mr. Antony told Mr. Jones that India had a stake in Afghanistan, reminding him that India's borders before Partition extended to Afghanistan.
“The Indian military is concerned by the situation in Afghanistan,” Mr. Antony said.