JIHAD RETURNS TO THE VALLEY
Pakistan unleashes a new wave of terror even as it talks peace
Ammi,” says a voice, “I am going to sacrifice myself. I need your blessings.” Last month, when R& AW intercepted a call to a cellphone in Pakistan’s Punjab province, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir went into a state of high alert. The yet- to- be- traced caller was clearly preparing for his final battle. The army knows he is lying in wait somewhere in the Valley, like a cruise missile waiting for target coordinates.
Already, highly motivated fidayeen, brainwashed into fighting unto the death, have struck thrice in Jammu and Kashmir this year. A September 26 twin attack on a police station in Kathua and an army camp in Samba killed 10 persons including the second- in- command of an armoured corps regiment. A June 24 assault on an army convoy killed eight soldiers. A March 13 attack in Bemina, Srinagar district, killed five CRPF troopers. The Valley has not seen fidayeen attacks for three years. Their sudden reappearance lends credence to the Pakistan army’s deadly new game. The gambit, the beheading of an Indian soldier in January this year, has now picked up pace as the Valley’s chinar trees start to turn a golden hue, signaling the onset of autumn.
The lynchpin of the Pakistan army’s new Mission Kashmir strategy is the new jihadi. The new foot soldier is better trained and technologically savvy. The product of three months of training in 42 military- style bootcamps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ( PoK), he is indoctrinated and ready to strike at targets across the LoC. He is armed, not just with satellite phones and AK- 47s with under- barrel grenade launchers, but with gadgets far superior to the Indian Army soldiers who fight him. His tactics are more brazen. The three fidayeen who attacked a police station in Samba, about 40 km from Jammu, were disguised in military fatigues. They hijacked an autorickshaw to ride to an army camp and later walked in