India needs to go into the “offensive-defensive” strategy against Pakistan, which means that peace with Pakistan can be achieved only by
Dr Vivek Kumar Mishra
Pakistan sponsored cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir crossed its limit when Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan, backed by Pakistan Army, crossed the LoC on May 1, 2017, and killed two of our soldiers and beheaded their bodies in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch. A more or less similar attack had taken place last month in which an Army Captain and two soldiers were killed when militants carried out a fidayeen attack on an army camp in Kupwara district. All these terror attacks are posing a serious challenge to Prime Minister Modi’s Pakistan policy.
No doubt, Prime Minister Modi has made a difference to India’s traditional Pakistan policy with his energy, activism, and diplomacy that visualises a strong India and a strong
border policy. He has also brought about a significant shift in India’s Kashmir policy, influenced to a large extent by the policy prescriptions of the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. In the context of Kashmir policy, NSA Doval has argued that India did blunder after following a policy of appeasement since independence. Instead of making Pakistani troops vacate Jammu and Kashmir, India went to the United Nations and Kashmir issue was internationalised. He has propounded a doctrine called Doval Doctrine which is based on the premise to isolate and weaken Pakistan by strategy of offensive defence. The doctrine believes that if India exercises power, then Pakistan and the Kashmiris will fall in line. Islamabad must be made to understand that it cannot take on the Indian establishment. Islamabad’s mindset “is unlikely to change unless India gives a decisive blow to Pakistan.” This would also make the Kashmiri separatists change their minds and renounce links with Pakistan. The doctrine also believes that the enemy is to be engaged at three levels: i) Defensive ii) Offensive-Defensive iii) Offensive Modes.
India needs to go into the “offensive-defensive” strategy against Pakistan and to make it clear on this dictum that if “you may do one Mumbai; you may lose Baluchistan.” It also states that, “the survival of the artificial entity called Pakistan will be left to itself. India will not do anything in terms of throwing a lifeline to this entity or the set of power elite that controls that entity to ensure its survival. Indeed, should the entity or the power elite there continue to act against Indian security or export terror, India will retaliate and ensure
everything possible is done to hasten the implosion.”
According to Doval, the defensive offense strategy will be the best strategy to contain Pakistan sponsored terrorism. The strategy is based on the assumption that peace with Pakistan can be achieved only by demonstrating strength.
The surgical strikes by India on terrorist camps across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan were a perfect example of
defensive offense strategy. Indian air-dropped commandos at the LoC from where the commandos crossed over 3 kms to the Pakistani side-destroyed 7 terrorist launch pads and killed 38 terrorists. The defensive offense strategy came into actual
implementation after engaging in more than two years of regular diplomacy. PM Modi paid a visit to Pakistan and even laid a red carpet for a visit by their intelligence officers after Pathankot
terror attack. This has sent a message to the world community that how Pakistan a rogue state has been sponsoring terrorism against India. PM Modi has fully converted its diplomatic efforts into an advantage – one that it will now use to further justify its “offensive defense” strategy. PM Modi has strengthened the coercive element along with the demonstration of a strong commitment to peace in his diplomacy. The response of the
international community illustrates that the world respects India’s choice of retaliation.
After surgical strike there were less incidents of stone pelting and terror attacks on security forces but since last month a series of terror attacks over security forces and civilian have taken place and India has lost its
soldiers. In such a changing scenario, it would appear that India has to review its strategy towards combating or dealing with terrorism in Kashmir.
The current situation in Kashmir
valley is grim and security forces are fighting against armed and unarmed Jihadi forces. The major challenge for the security forces is how to fight not just the Pakistani forces but also their overground workers, euphemistically called “stone-pelters” and “misguided youths”, who are hampering their operations relentlessly. It is evident that Pakistan has
ideologically brainwashed these Kashmiri youths and the ideas have a dynamic life of their own and are not to be killed easily. The Pakistan is using this manpower for diverting the attention of Indian army from conducting its operations in the border so that the terrorist infiltrations to be increased. The Indian army cannot fight effectively unless they can identify the real
enemies. The security forces are finding it extremely difficult to deal with unarmed Jihadis often led by unruly crowd. The crowd appears to be unorganised but there are likely to be armed
terrorists among the groups in close vicinity to monitor the stone pelting. They keep a watch over the youth and award and reward them instantaneously based on their enthusiasm to lead the charge against security forces. Those who stand in front and charge at the security forces are paid higher amount than those who stay behind and be part of the group. Fighting with these misguided youths is the major challenge to the Indian army. The best strategy to be adopted by India against Pakistan is that the India should bypass the frontiers and fight war against terrorists in POK and Baluchistan based on offensive defense strategy because the Indian forces has been fighting on home turf whereas the Pakistan is fighting forward bypassing frontiers. One needs to think over such strategy. The only one surgical strike is not enough but India will have to fight forward with strength to come out of the vicious circle of terror networks of Pakistan.
(The writer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law, Justice and Governance, Gautam Buddha University, Noida)