The Army Chief General J.J. Singh has said that the ISI and elements of the Pakistani Army are pushing terrorists into India. The General's revelation is no scoop. But it is alarming in the context in which it was made. Over the last fortnight there was a three fold increase in infiltration bids across the Line of Control. The Army'slatest intelligence assessment puts the number of infiltrations in April at 700 a three fold increase fron 2006 when 270 terrorists managed to cross over during the same month.
This sudden spurt has come as a surprise to defence analysts. The UPA has been particularly touchy on attacking terrorism and exposing Pakistan. It has for long believed on a soft line on terror and exuberance on Pakistan as the bed rock of its security strategy. But that has not paid. It seems, the resultant lull and lethargy have come handy for the terrorists to regroup and renew their anti-India efforts more effectively.
The Manmohan Singh regime is a victim of its own ineptitude. India has been stressing the Pakistani involvement in the unrest in Kashmir at various international platforms. But in a sudden somersault Manmohan Singh declared Pakistan a victim rather than a promoter of terrorism. This was followed by the now discredited joint anti-terror mechanism (ATM) which only helped Pakistan carry out its nefarious anti-India plot.
Though India had exchanged vital information after the Mumbai serial blasts and the Samjhouta Express blasts India did not get any response from the other side. The ATM is in place since November last but there has been little progress in flushing out terrorists ensconced in ISI run camps across the border.
India had put on the table credible evidence of Pakistani involvement in the terror plots in Delhi, Varanasi and Mysore thus saying that the success of the joint anti-terror mechanism will depend on Islamabad'swillingness to address Indian concerns. But this has not moved Pakistan.
Reports say that terrorism has become a profession. It used to be said that illiterate, unemployed youths were lured into commiting ghastly acts in their zest for jehad. But it is neither poverty or illiteracy but the prospect of luxurious life and astronomical reward that have come to make this crime a lucrative profession. Now like smuggling, decoity and drug trafficking terrorism has become a profession of educated, easy going, tech savvy modern day marauders.
In the last sixteen years of terrorism in Kashmir over 40,000 people have lost their lives, the centre has told the Supreme Court the other day. Of them 13,000 were civilians, 4,000 were security personnel. It further said that 170 temples were damaged in Kashmir during this period. In this background the purely political approach of the centre to reduce the security forces in the Valley to keep the pro-terror outfits in good humour is a cynical misadventure.
A PIL filed by the All Kashmiri Samaj highlighting the plight of the Hindus forced to leave the state due to terrorism is in the Supreme Court. The centre has given out the above information in its affidavit before the court.
What we have to consider is that the whole phenomenon of terrorism in the valley is a proxy war and it has to be tackled as such. Pussy footing on this clear case of territorial subversion is a dangerous dereliction of national commitment. An accompanying report in this paper on page 5 shows how the population in Kashmir has doubled in the last two decades because of influx from across the border. This has happened despite the migration of over five lakh Hindus from the vally to other parts of the country.
These are the sinus of the subversive activity in Kashmir. The situation can go out of hand any time the enemy chooses. This alien population is a varitable powder keg. It can explode tearing apart the fragile fabric of the state.
During the recent Asian Security Summit in Singapore India'sdefence minister A.K. Antony had accused Pakistan of supporting cross border terrorism and asked that country to deliver on its promise of not supporting terrorism from its territory.
Such good deed is too much to expect of Pakistan if India'sexperience of the past six decade is any guide.