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.
New Delhi had last year pulled the plug on Jammu and Kashmir’s communication network before it went public with the decision to abrogate Article 370 to be able to ensure that trouble-makers do not spread rumours on and off social media.