Pakistan on Tuesday, 24 September, rejected as “completely baseless” the Indian Army chief’s statement from a day before on the reactivation of terror camp in Balakot that was destroyed by the Indian armed forces through a surgical strike earlier this year.

The allegation of “infiltration” from Pakistan reflects “a desperate attempt” of India to divert international attention from the “humanitarian crisis” in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement.

Foreign Office Statement, reported Dawn “Indian statements and measures are a threat to regional peace and stability. India will not succeed in misleading the international community by using these negative tactics.”

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat had on Monday, 23 September, said Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot terror camp very recently, and about 500 infiltrators are waiting to infiltrate India.

“Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently. That shows that Balakot has been affected. It had been damaged and destroyed. And that is why people have got away from there and now it has been reactivated,” he told reporters at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai.

He said around 500 infiltrators were waiting to infiltrate the country.

“…some action had been taken by Indian Air Force and now they have got the people back there,” he said.

Rawat also said the Balakot camp, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was damaged and destroyed, after the IAF strikes in February.

“Balakot has been reactivated. Balakot was affected, damaged and destroyed. Action had been taken by Indian airforce and now they are reactivated,” he said.

Reacting to a repeat of another IAF strike, Rawat said, “Let them keep guessing.”

“Numbers keep fluctuating. We have a minimum number of 500 people (inside the camp). Depending on weather pattern they keep moving. As the temperature keeps falling, they move. Figures keep fluctuating depending on where terrorists are. We have take measures and put in more troops along LoC,” he added.

Rawat, while speaking to the press, said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is normal, only the communication breakdown is between terrorist handlers and terrorists in the Valley. “Otherwise, communication is happening between people to people and families also can talk to their own. Defence has made facilities for it,” Rawat said.

Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff “Ground situation you’re aware off, terrorists have been kept at bay. We will gradually start releasing pressure on the people. But I don’t agree there is a clampdown. The brick kilns are active. Smoke coming out of the chimney. Sand is being collected from Jhelum river. Heaps of apples plucked from the orchards and being transported.”

He said that if all this is happening in clampdown, how are people moving. He said that the clampdown is fear psychosis, that is being made up by terrorists. “If you are saying two months of clampdown is happening, then how are people surviving without food and water? Shops are working from behind because front shutters are closed by terrorists. Activity is happening in the valley. Airports are working. The clampdown is a fear psychosis,” the Army chief said.

Earlier, Indian Air Force had carried out attack at terror camps in Balakot in retaliation to the deadly terror attacks on CRPF personnel in Pulwama in February this year.

(With PTI inputs)