In a concerning development, on June 11, 2023, Pakistan’s Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) and terrorist group leaders have been observed making a strange and dangerous move by using women and children to carry arms and ammunition and deliver messages. This comes at a time when the terrorists in the Kashmir Valley are using non-traditional communication methods, per an Indian army official.
The General Officer commanding the Srinagar based 15 Corps, also known as Chinar Corps, said that the forces must be cautious as people on the other side of the LOC (Line of Control) are busy planning and plotting to disturb the current peaceful atmosphere.
“As I see it, today’s threats involve women, children, and juveniles carrying messages and drugs or, at times, weapons.” So far, the army has detected some cases that highlighted an emerging trend which is a risky move by the ISI and heads of Tanzeems. We are collaborating with other agencies on this.” The PTI (Press Trust of India) quoted General Aujla as saying.
When asked if this means terror groups have stopped using mobile communication, the army officer said that the TECHINT( technical intelligence) signatures have decreased these activities significantly. In addition, a large number of Overground Workers that have served as conduits for them have been apprehended.
The Indian Army, in cooperation with the Union Territory government, has taken a series of initiatives as part of a de-radicalization strategy, one of which is the Sahi Rasta (right path programme) and it has proved to be a game changer in the right earnest.
“We have come a long way in ensuring peace and stability in Kashmir,” he said. But I would be naïve to claim an early victory because we believe that every gain must be cemented before achieving lasting peace in the territory.
Without naming Pakistan, General Aujla said that the main challenge is that the neighbouring country has not abandoned its intent and is hell-bent on causing trouble on both sides of the Pir Panjal Range. Their most recent infiltration attempt in the Machil Sector of Northern Kashmir is proof of its open indulgence.
The Top Army officer urged the forces not to let their guard down and said that he is very well aware of the security and possible threats from Pakistan.
Lauding efforts by the Indian Army, he claimed that many terrorists are lying low or have migrated out of the valley. “it is very difficult to give the exact number of terrorists, either local or foreign, but according to my estimates, it is definitely at the lowest since the past thirty-three years,” the officer said.
“After all, if we have been able to reach this point, it is due to the cooperation of the people, said General Aujla said that the perception of people towards violence has changed for the better.”
The strategy employed by the ISI is core to the concept of asymmetric warfare. In asymmetric war, the side which is much weaker than its adversary in terms of military strength employs non-conventional tactics such as guerilla warfare, cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, propaganda, psychological warfare, and the use of violent, non-state actors such as criminals and particularly terrorists as in this case are tools of asymmetric warfare and related conflicts.
The use of women, children, and juveniles to deliver arms, drugs, narcotics along with, ammunition, and sensitive information to terrorist leaders is also related to organised crime. Both terrorism and organised crimes often go hand in hand with each other. It is a clear example of asymmetric warfare.
The senior officer also praised the work done by all the security forces and law enforcement agencies in ensuring an incident-free G-20 Meeting in Srinagar.