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Army plans road to hill hideout

Surankote, June 1: The army is planning a road to Hill Kaka, the 11,000-feet densely forested peak so inaccessible that it can shelter militants for months.

The army is still suspicious of militants holing up there despite clearing them out of the area during Operation Sarp Vinash.

Sources said Hill Kaka can pose problems as in the past: militants could use it to expand their network south of Pir Panjal and operate beyond the reach of security forces. “To seek a permanent solution to the problem, the army is thinking of constructing a road to the peak and establishing permanent presence there,” an army source said.

The construction survey is likely to be undertaken in the next few weeks.

Hill Kaka is particularly dangerous as militants can take shelter in its natural caves for months. The peak, which has a direct link to the Line of Control, is also a transit route to the Kashmir Valley. It provides access to Tangmarg, Yusmarg and Aharabal in the Valley through mountain passes. “If the army maintains permanent presence over Hill Kaka, it can easily interdict the infiltrators trying to make it to the Valley or set up bases here,” a source said.

Building the road would be “a huge task” because the stretch from Bafliaz, a village on the way to Mughal Road — a route that emperor Jahangir and his wife Noor Jahan used to take to the Valley — is about 30 km long. Hundreds of trees would have to be cut and tough terrain negotiated, the sources said.

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