Counter-Terrorism: Pakistan Invades India

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December 8, 2011: Indian counter-terror operations recently resulted in the arrest of six Islamic terrorists, one of them a Pakistani, who were responsible for three attacks in India this year. This sort of thing is not unusual for India. Pakistan has been seeking, for decades, to organize a widespread Islamic terror campaign in India, but has been hampered by a lack of support from Indian Moslems. There are more Moslems in India than in Pakistan and the Indian Moslems are much better off economically and much less likely to embrace Islamic radicalism. But there is always a radical minority, and this keeps the Pakistani terrorists in business throughout India.

But it's different in the disputed (with Pakistan) province of Kashmir. India recently revealed that, since 1990, some 40,000 people have died there, because of Pakistani supported Islamic terrorism. A third of the dead were civilians, while 53 percent were terrorists and the remaining 14 percent were security forces. The highest losses were in the 1990s. But over the last six years, losses have come down considerably. This was mainly because India has managed to sharply reduce the number of Islamic terrorists getting into non-Moslem parts of Kashmir (actually "Jammu-Kashmir") from Pakistan. This was done by using more technology, more troops and new ideas to largely shut down terrorist infiltration routes over the Himalayas and into India.

Let's put this into perspective. In the last eleven years, there have been some 1,800 terrorism related incidents in that area, most of them before 2005. Some 88 percent of the incidents occurred from 2000-2005. After that, the annual number of incidents declined. In 2005 there were 163, but that went down to 73 in 2006 and so on until this year. A major factor in reducing the violence is blocking the movement of Islamic terrorists from Pakistan. Part of this is getting Pakistan to shut down the terrorist camps on their side of the border. Thus 489 Islamic terrorists attempted to cross the border in the first six months of last year, compared to only 52 for the same period this year. That may change, because India has detected Pakistan allowing some of the terrorist camps to resume operations. Moreover, so far this year there have been 45 cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the Indian border in Kashmir. There were 44 in all of 2010, and 28 in 2009. The Pakistani government displaced a military one in 2008, and since then the Pakistani generals have often pursued their own foreign policy, without consulting the civilian politicians who are supposed to have the final say on such matters.

The Islamic terrorist groups in Kashmir, which Pakistan allowed, and initially encouraged to be formed for the "war" on Indian Kashmir, have refused to abide by any truce, or be part of any peace deal with India. This has led to increasing violence in northern Pakistan (especially in the Pakistani half of Kashmir.) Pakistan has apparently sought to persuade some of the terrorists to relent on their attacks against the Pakistani government, by allowing these groups to resume their operations against Indian Kashmir.

Pakistani Islamic terrorists find it very difficult to operate inside India, but the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies continue to provide money and sanctuary inside Pakistan for recruiting and training operatives to be sent into India. Bangladesh and Nepal are now favorite entry points.

In Kashmir itself, the Islamic terrorists have worn out their welcome with the Moslem majority. The terrorism not only killed a lot of Moslems (both by accident, and on purpose if someone was suspected of passing information to the Indian police), but destroyed the once-prosperous local economy. The terrorists were also intent on killing or expelling all non-Moslems. This was difficult, partly because there were a number of Hindu shrines in the area, and the majority of Indians were not going to give these up to majority Moslem Pakistan. This is why the Moslem majority in Kashmir is not going to become an independent state either. Over a decade of terrorism has destroyed the needed trust for that. But for the moment, the Moslem population is increasingly hostile to the Islamic terrorists, which means more of these radicals are getting informed on, and ending up dead or captured.

Thus, at a time when Islamic terrorist casualties are at their highest in Kashmir, the ability to sneak reinforcements in from Pakistan is at its lowest. As opposed to six years ago, the Indian border troops now have heat sensors (in binoculars and rifle scopes), unattended sensors and better training to operate in the upland forests and hills of the high mountain passes. There are also more troops watching the infiltration routes. The Islamic radicals have not been able to counter these Indian moves. Thus India has a win, at least until, and if, the Islamic radicals come up with a solution to their problem.

 

 


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