Pakistan upgrades terror and bellicosity in Kashmir

K N Pandita
Though Indian and Pakistani troops are not violating the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control but for various reasons Pakistan has upgraded and intensified clandestine infiltration by the terrorists into Indian side of Kashmir in recent weeks and months. It has made new inputs in the tactics, inducted more of China-made sophisticated portable weapons, expanded and reinforced intelligence and given hype to anti-India propaganda.
In change of tactics, they follow the desk book rule of guerrilla fighting viz laying ambush and striking at the target and then quickly vanishing from the site. The addition made to these tactics is that of making the forest and mountain caves as their hideouts instead of the houses of motivated civilians. The dense forests of Pir Panchal range are now their safe havens because these caves are not easily notifiable nor accessible to the security forces.
The terrorists target military camps and police posts but not the civilians or public properties. They are armed with much more sophisticated weapons, satellite phones, China-made ammunition and grenades and other surveillance equipment. They have also increased recruitment of local guides and both over ground and underground conduits. Moreover, they try new routes of infiltration that may not be easily detected by the Indian security forces. And lastly, the terrorists are far better trained and more deeply indoctrinated.
A significant change in terrorist tactics is that they have shifted their field of operation from North of Pir Panchal to South of Pir Panchal that is Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Kathua and Doda districts.
A meticulously calculated and horribly executed terror attack struck Jammu and Kashmir on June 9, 2024, leaving nine pilgrims dead and 42 injured. A bus carrying devotees returning from the Shiv Khori shrine was ambushed by terrorists in the Raisi district. Initial reports suggested the Pakistan-based and ISI funded Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant group — created by Pakistan super intelligence agency to operate in Kashmir — could be behind the attack. The victims were all Hindus. A newspaper reported that the Jammu and Kashmir Police have removed the Station House Officer (SHO) Poni in Reasi district for “failing to act on inputs” prior to the terrorist attack on a bus that left at least nine pilgrims dead in the area last week.
The second terror incident occurred on June 11, when terrorists infiltrated into a home in the Kathua district. Another attack was made by the terrorists on an army post in Doda district in which exchange of fire continued for some days.
Since June 9, there have been terror strikes at four places in Reasi, Kathua and Doda, where nine pilgrims were killed, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan was killed, a civilian was injured and at least seven security personnel were injured.
The timing of these attacks is very significant and it explains the immediate reason for escalation of violence between 9-12 June. But the spurt in terrorism was noticed during the days of parliamentary election. The killing of pilgrims took place exactly on the day on which Prime Minister Modi took oath to form the new government on 9 June. The purpose of escalating terrorist activities at this specific time was to disrupt elections, create chaotic conditions in which the administration would be paralysed. It was also meant to send a message that despite heavy security arrangement on the occasion of elections, the terrorists had the temerity to strike at will. suppose
The why of spurt in terror
Many theories are presumed to have oiled the engine of terrorism, a three and a half-decade old phenomenon in Kashmir. Commentators think that the State Reorganization Act of Augus 2019, by virtue of which the State of J&K was converted into Union Territory, is not palatable to the Kashmir valley-based political leadership because it has terminated their six decade-long monopoly of authoritarian and dynastic rule over J&K.
For more than a year, there is widespread discontent and resentment among the people of Pakistan’s illegally occupied part of the State including the strategic area of Gilgit and Baltistan. For more than three months masses of people in those areas are on strike, bringing out massive protest demonstrations against Pakistan for depriving them of essential commodities like wheat, sugar, oil, gas and medicine. They charge Islamabad with usurping their rights and subjecting the area to the status of Pakistan’s colony. Pakistan army dare not take any punitive action. The worst for Pakistan is that the masses of these areas want to separate from Pakistan and join India. Indian leadership does not intend to catch the time by forelock but believes that the unrest in POJK and GB will ultimately end up with the detachment of the region from Pakistan.
Since Pakistan army is unable to cow down the freedom movements in Baluchistan and KP, and is receiving a drubbing in Sind, it wants to silence the strong domestic political dissent by prioritizing terrorism in Kashmir. From the arms and other material recovered from the possessions of the killed terrorists, we get sufficient information that not only the Pakistan army and its ISI are conducting the entire mission of Kashmir terrorism but also China is lending them its support by supplying advanced weapons and terrorist paraphernalia.
Lastly, during 2023, about 22 top Pakistani terrorists, most of them participants in Kashmir jihad, have been assassinated by their group or party rivals as a matter of personal vendetta. Pakistani police have failed to apprehend the culprits evidently because the police is an accomplice. But to mislead the masses of people Pakistan rulers try to bring the onus to the doorsteps of India. The terrorist organizations of Pakistan are seeking revenge from Indian security forces.
No country in the world would give so much of space to an adversary that is determined to destroy its political and administrative structure and “bleed it with a thousand cuts.” There can be no strong a proof of how much India is wedded to peace and coexistence. But Pakistan has to understand that there is a limit to tolerance. It is testing India’s tolerance and we are afraid this unwise and reckless testing of tolerance may boomerang on her sooner than later. If Pakistan has to exist it must exist as a normal, sensible, peaceful and responsible country. India has the capability of not only defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity but also to effectively buttress those peoples in the sub-continent who are desperately fighting for their freedom and their rights.