View: Why Are We Fighting Pakistani Jihadis One To One?

By Brigadier Arun Bajpai (Retired)

  • After Pulwama, which happened on 14 February 2019 martyring 42 CRPF solders, five more jihadi encounters have taken place in Kashmir Valley. However, what is the matter of concern is that first time it has happened this year, after 2002, that more trained soldiers have been martyred then the jihadis killed. This must stop at the earliest. This is happening because our troops unlike other Armies in the world fight with the jihadis taking them as our own people, one to one.
  • This results in high casualties to our troops, because unlike good old days, these jihadis are highly trained by Pakistan, wielding best of weapons and most of them are Pakistanis. So why should we sacrifice our precious lives of trained soldiers with these cannon fodders of no value, who dream of Jannat and 72 hoors as brain washed by their half-baked Maulanas.
  • Five major encounters have taken place after Pulwama on 14 Feb this year, in the Kashmir Valley at Baba Gund, Turigam, Tral, etc that have martyred number of trained soldiers.  This is first year after 2002 that 56 soldiers have been martyred as against 46 jihadis killed. What is also significant is that out of the 18 jihadis eliminated after Pulwama, 14 belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan based most coveted jihadi organisation of Pakistani Army.
  • Intelligence agencies of India say that about 50-60 jihadis of J-e-M have infiltrated into India from Pakistan via international border route because Indian Army is keeping heavy vigil on 778 km long LOC in Kashmir Valley. But then are BSF not deployed on IB? how come these Pakistani jihadis enter India at will without BSF checking it? What is their accountability? Why no heads have rolled till now? This Ji Huzoor culture will not do, India’s security can not be taken so lightly. Also, these Pakistani jihadis entering India can not survive if they do not have local let us face the truth in correct perspective and the fact that these jihadis are getting local support.
  • Actually, it has been estimated by our intelligence agencies that Pakistani jihadi organisation J-e-M, has been able to recruit many trustworthy locals as eyes and years of theirs in Kashmir valley. In various encounters recently in Kashmir Valley, it has been found that each J-e-M group had one or two local jihadi supporting it. This local support is key reason Jaish has been able to re-establish its presence again after having been almost out of action since 2005.
  • The problem that our troops are facing is the lack of clarity as to what the government at Centre wants. At one point the Central Government wants to win the hearts and minds of the local people.  At other point they want tough measures. Now it is common knowledge that both restraint and tough measures cannot go together. Biggest worry today of a trooper, let him be of police, Army or Para military forces, is the unerring swarms of pattharbaj to disrupt the encounters and help the jihadis.
  • In no other country than India, this problem is faced  because in any other country if you support terrorism in any way then you are also considered a terrorist. But not in India Why? Our netas say that insurgency in 22 districts of Kashmir is only confined to about five or six districts. If that is so then why it is lingering on since 1988? In dealing with insurgency first thing you are taught is that one has to use tough measures to first bring back law and order in the state and then slowly win hearts and minds of people, establishing the law of elected government again. have we done this in Kashmir Valley? The problem with us is that there are so many cooks spoiling the broth.
  • SC says for every civilian death a FIR will be recorded against a trooper despite AFSPA in the Valley. Then why should a trooper put his neck in the noose? Can any insurgency be won this way? There is no insurgency in Jammu and Ladakh region, it is only confined to Kashmir Valley. In Kashmir Valley also out of 90 lakh people it is only confined to about 35 lakh people. So why should Jammu and Ladakh people suffer shenanigans of Kashmir Valley people. So why the Government at Centre does not take a bold step and separate these three regions into three separate centrally administered states? Where is the need of Valley to have an elected Government who basically gets elected by 8 to 10 % votes with others boycotting elections? Same Abdulla’s or Mehboobas become joint commanders of all forces combined with daily political interference in the work of Armed Forces. Where is this given in Indian Constitution ? All nets talk of Kashmiriat and what have you, which does not exist any more so why talk about it? Kashmiri pandits have been thrown out of Kashmir Valley by coercion. Why it has been accepted in India? Put them back in the Valley in separate colonies with proper protection.
  • We can not allow our Armed Forces people to continue sacrificing their lives just because Indian political masters are pussy footed, lacking guts to set right the blunders made by Nehru in Jammu and Kashmir State. What we need is strong policy of Kashmir in keeping with our national interest. If Pakistan and other countries in insurgency situations are using their heavy weapons against their own people why are we fighting these jihadis who are mostly Pakistanis, one to one, resulting in casualties to our troops.
  • Example of China is with us who in its Xinxiang Province is sorting out its more than one corer Azadi demanding people with heavy hand. Two million of them are in detention camps being re-educated. Nobody is saying anything to China. All 50 Muslim countries including Islamic Republic of Pakistan are quiet. We must now make a clear-cut Kashmir policy. Divide the three regions of Jammu, Valley and Ladakh into three separate states for administrative reasons. Scrap Article 370 and Article 35. Make it clear to all Pattharbaj of the Valley that any interference with working of security forces will be seen as an act of terror and will be dealt with accordingly. Where necessary Army will not hesitate in using heavy weapons against the jihadis. If this leads to collateral damage then so be it. This nonsense of winning hearts and minds of people of Valley must stop. Where there is no heart what are you going to win? When on 26 Feb Indian launched its air strike at Balakot , the very next day Pakistan tried to hit Indian military installations in Nowshera and Bhimbar. The difference was that while India launched its airstrike against jihadi training camp of J-e-M Pakistan tried to bomb Indian military installations.
  • So now we are also free to launch attacks against Pakistani military installations. We must now hit Pakistani military installations across the border at will forcing to engage Pakistani Army by using our ground forces and even air force where opportunity permits. It is only when we draw Pakistani army, a political organisation incapable of facing Indian Army into fray and cause them casualties that this insurgency will start abating. It is the Pakistani Army we should target.
  • We should also take recourse to other covert means adopted by CIA, Mossad, MI-6 etc. We must deal with Pakistan as enemy and stop all dealings with Pakistan including trade. Withdraw our Embassy from Pakistan. If we do not do all this and continue with current Sab Chalta Hai attitude then we are basically playing in Pakistani hands. now we have to decide what we want to do ball is in our court.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same

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