Counter-Terrorism: The Towers Of Death

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December 19, 2014: In northeast India (Kashmir) troops have noted some ominous activity across the border in Pakistan. There new positions, including towers, are being built to accommodate snipers. There are also reports that Pakistan is moving some commando units to the LOC (Line of Control) that forms the ceasefire border. Finally, there is growing evidence that Islamic terrorist training camps on the Pakistani side of the border have an unusually large (several hundred) number of trained terrorists ready to try and cross the border.

Then there is the existing problem that this year Pakistani troops have increased their violations of the 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir. This usually consists of Pakistani troops firing on Indian troops across the LOC with machine-guns and mortars. Indians usually respond with similar type weapons. The official Pakistani Army position is that India starts these incidents by firing first but there is little evidence of that and even the Pakistani government is at a loss as to why their military continues to allow these incidents to happen despite orders to maintain the ceasefire.

India has found that in the past many of these attacks were used to distract Indian border guards to assist Islamic terrorists trying to cross the LOC. The Indians believe that this year a lot of this border violence was for Pakistani media, to keep Pakistanis fearful of war with India and prevent reforms in the Pakistani military (especially more civilian oversight) and cuts in the military budget. Meanwhile the Pakistanis will claim that any Indian return fire was “unprovoked”, especially if any Pakistani civilians (which the Pakistani army does not seem too concerned about) are killed by the return fire. These ceasefire violations have been particularly numerous since October and caused over a hundred casualties, about 20 percent of them fatal. Most of those hurt have been military but there have been nearly a hundred nine civilian dead and wounded since October. This caused over 35,000 Indian civilians to flee the border area.

The Pakistani military has long supported (protected and subsidized) Islamic terrorist groups that operate in India. These are based in Pakistani Kashmir and the Indians fear that Pakistan is planning something big. Despite the fact that both countries have nuclear weapons and that India has been losing patience with Pakistani misbehavior despite risk of nuclear war, the Pakistanis persist in playing a dangerous game.

 

 


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