New Delhi: If sources are to be true, then Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has readied a plan to expand coverage of its mobile coverage in Jammu and Kashmir that is not only designed to help Pakistan-trained terrorists infiltrating into the valley but also neutralise the impact of a future communication blockade imposed by the government, people familiar with the matter said.
The plan, according to a top security official in New Delhi, to tweak existing telecom towers and build new ones has been in the works for about a year. It was initially conceived to strength the existing phone network to help terrorists who have infiltrated into Kashmir.
But the Pakistani foreign ministry pushed hard to scale up the exercise to give it the ability to sabotage the communications blockade ordered in Kashmir after last year’s Aug 5 decision to end its special status. It wants Kashmiris to use Pakistani telecom services that cannot be blocked by Indian Security Forces.
A top national security planner told to a national daily that Pakistan’s Special Communications Organisations (SCO) – the state-run firm mandated to provide telecom services in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Gilgit-Baltistan rgion – had analysed signals from 38 sites along the Line of Control and the International Border with India. It has told the army that Pakistan could get a spillover effect via 28 existing phone towers. According to its analysis, the GSM antenna would need to be reoriented in 18 locations to achieve this objective though it would reduce the coverage on its side of the LoC.