Winning: Kashmir Chaos Collapses

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January 11, 2012:  Terrorist violence in Indian Kashmir reached record lows last year, with 64 civilians and security personnel killed, compared to 116 in 2010. This is part of a trend that has been going on for most of the last decade. Since 1990, the disputed (with Pakistan) province of Kashmir has suffered 40,000 terrorist related deaths, largely because of Pakistani supported Islamic terror groups. 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 seven 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.

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 2010, compared to only 52 for the same period last year. That may change, because India has detected Pakistan allowing some of the terrorist camps to resume operations. Moreover, for the last three years, there have been 3-4 cease-fire violations a month by Pakistan along the Indian border in Kashmir. There were only 2-3 a month 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 seven 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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