PAKISTAN DUPLICITY REINFORCED : A VIEWPOINT
The security of military establishments and garrisons must be beefed up with the army going proactive. We must develop a coherent deterrent against unconventional threats, mere diplomacy having failed miserably and threats having magnified.
The terrorist attacks on September 26 at the Hira Nagar Police Station in Samba and at an army camp simultaneous to massive infiltration attacks in Karen Sector yet again exposes the duplicity of Pakistan’s peace facade – set pattern of the Pakistani military-Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) inflicting casualties on the Indian state but portraying these actions are by ‘out of control’ non-state actors wanting to ‘derail peace talks’.
In the instant case, Pakistani veterans participating in TV debates arrogantly termed these terrorists as “freedom fighters” absolving Pakistan of any involvement. The fact that Indian Army officials are repeatedly pointing out to heavy concentration of terrorists along the border and in terrorist camps somehow gets lost in this mumbo-jumbo of Pakistan’s duplicity. The fact remains that the above terrorist attacks could not have happened without the active concurrence and support of the Pakistani Army. There is every possibility that regular Pakistani personnel participated in these attacks with detailed planning by the Pakistani military.
As per one report, these were not fidayeen but SSG (Special Forces) personnel of the Pakistani Army. Their target was the Army School but the captive driver said he didn’t know where it was — so they got down where they saw some habitation. Can you imagine the massacre of children of army personnel if this scum would have reached the school?
Were the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist strikes not planned, prepared and executed with active support of the Pakistani Navy and ISI under the ‘Karachi Project’? Terrorist camps in Pakistan and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) had been merged with the military posts/establishments even prior to Operation ‘Parakram’ to obviate possible airstrikes by India, like what Israelis do. Pakistani Army is actively involved in pushing terrorists across the border – a fact well known. But this has been supplemented by serious cross border raids in recent months.
The fact is that Pakistan’s foreign policy with its attenuated strategy of terror is evolved and controlled by the Pakistani military over which the toothless democracy has no lien as the powerful military-ISI combine has a stranglehold over the country. Therefore, the ever ready response of the Pakistani establishment is that Pakistan too is a victim of terrorism.
The bottom line appears to be that this Catch-22 cycle can only be broken if democracy in Pakistan can heel its military and bring the ISI under control of the Ministry of Interior – as former President Asif Ali Zardari had tried once. Without this, there appears to be no cohesive prospects of India-Pakistan rapprochement. In case of India, we need to take note of the fresh guidelines that were issued by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda leader for jihad on the anniversary of 9/11 this year, which explicitly included J&K as one of the areas for spreading terror. He also reportedly gave instructions to his followers not to attack innocents including Christians, Hindus and Sikhs ‘living in Muslim lands’ but then India doesn’t come into the ambit of ‘Muslim lands’. Besides, we just witnessed some 75 Christians butchered in Pakistan – Muslim land and that too nuclear.
The war in Afghanistan has firmed the nexus between Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) with the latter opting for global jihad that does not exclude India. Large number of LeT cadres have been joining Al-Qaeda and even filling up voids in Al-Qaeda hierarchy that occurred because of US Predator attacks – as acknowledged by US intelligence. There is no reason why Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen will not join them with all the political links in J&K including Hurriyat hardliners trooping to Pakistan to meet Hafiz Saeed.
Isn’t terrorism classified as one of the top industries, what with all the power and big money besides jihad? Add to this the extended terror factories of Pakistan postUS withdrawal from Afghanistan and the hoards of Taliban that the Pakistani military will likely divert to India. These could perhaps be more of Punjabi Taliban. It may be remembered that of the 9,000 Pakistani Taliban personnel fighting in Afghanistan along with Pakistani military disguised as Taliban at the time of the US invasion, 6,000 were from Pakistan’s Punjab and the US facilitated their air evacuation from areas like Kunduz and Khost.
India will need to gear up for all this. The security of military establishments and garrisons must be beefed up with the army going proactive. We must develop a coherent deterrent against unconventional threats, mere diplomacy having failed miserably and threats having magnified. Our Special Forces potential must be optimised and be made central in responding to asymmetric threats. We need to develop publicised overt capabilities and deniable covert capabilities to protect our fault lines and control the fault lines of our adversaries.
LT GENERAL (RETD) P.C. KATOCH