India told the United States that there were 43 ‘militant training camps’ in Pakistan last summer and that little had been done to shut them down, leaked diplomatic cables have revealed.
The claim was made during a meeting between A.K. Antony, the Indian defence minister, in a conversation with General Jim Jones, the former US national security advisor.
During the meeting, Deepak Kapoor, the head of the Indian army, said that Pakistan had raided some of the camps following the Mumbai attacks in 2008, but that they had since reopened.
22 of the camps were in Kashmir, Kapoor said, adding that fighters continued to cross the de facto border into Indian-administered Kashmir, which would not be possible without “some kind of assistance… that is institutional.”
Kapoor estimated that around 20 per cent of those attempting to cross into Indian-administered territory were successful in doing so, and said that “significant ammunition and other equipment” was also being brought in.
“If we can catch them (the infiltrators), why can’t the Pakistani military?” Kapoor asked.
India is worried, the cable says, “that some part of the huge US military package to Pakistan will find its way to the hands of terrorists targeting India.”
Pakistan in ‘denial’
Kapoor accused the Pakistanis of being in “denial mode” about the problem, and raised the prospect that India is vulnerable to infiltration through its open border with Nepal.
Jones told the Indian officials that the US would take up the issue of the training camps with the Pakistani authorities.
Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations that it supports militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.
It has, however, acknowledged that the Mumbai attacks were plotted and partly launched from its soil and put seven suspects linked to the Laskar-e-Taiba group on trial. India says it is not satisfied with the pace of the Pakistani investigation.
In another cable, dating from January 2010, Nirumpama Rao, the Indian foreign minister, “urged US pressure on Pakistan to break its ties to the terrorist groups” responsible for the attack on Mumbai.
It was not the first time Pakistan had faced such demands. In a cable dating from December 2008, a month after the attack, the US embassy noted that embassies in Delhi are “advising Pakistan that now is the time to collaborate” in the fight against those who could launch future attacks against India.