The terrorist attack on a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) convoy at Pulwama in Kashmir Valley is a tragedy of monumental proportions. It was a cowardly act of mindless violence that has left the entire nation aghast and horrified. The foreign hand is well established since the terrorist involved had allegiance with the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). As the country grapples with the calamity, many questions are being raised about the attack and the possible reaction of the Indian government to the same; volumes have already been said and written about the same.
It is being alluded that there was an intelligence failure and a security lapse in assessing the danger being posed in movement of such big convoys of security forces. There is also talk of lack of synergy between security forces in the passage of intelligence. One need to remain assured that the Intelligence network in Kashmir is strong, effective and synergised as is visible through the incisive and very successful joint counter-terrorist attacks being launched in the Kashmir Valley since the last year and plus. It needs to be acknowledged here that the enemy we are dealing with is equally determined and strives to finds ways to break our network! They will succeed sometimes, as in this unfortunate incident.
The increasing capacity of the Pakistan-based JeM in influencing the conflict situation in Kashmir needs to be assessed in detail. This incident was a Fiyadeen (Suicide) attack by a local terrorist and preparing a person for such an operation takes a lot of time and effort. Preparation of the attack, identifying the target, carrying out the research and reconnaissance, getting the necessary explosives and the vehicle, all require detailed and professional planning. It is not something that can be done by a novice terrorist or a single individual. The JeM was also behind the recent grenade attack on a school in Pulwama in which 19 students were injured, it is also responsible for mobilisation of civilians for creating disruptions during counter-terrorist attacks. That the JeM has developed such capacities, which also include psychological conditioning of locally recruited terrorists and detailed planning for engineering of violence, is something to think about.
The time has come for the government to remain aloof from political pressures and optimally utilise all resources at its disposal to address the situation in Kashmir. Strong action needs to be taken to stop the process of radicalisation that is in place across the Kashmir Valley through paid agents of the Pakistan-based terrorist machinery. How is the Hurriyat being able to implement its abhorrent protest calendars with such relative ease? Will the Hurriyat now condemn this dastardly, inhumane and cowardly act? If not, then it should be assumed that the conglomerate supports the same and, on this basis, it be declared as an enemy of the state.
The most urgent requirement of the moment, however, is for the nation to stand steadfast behind its security forces in this moment of grief. The families of those killed need to be given succour and looked after. This setback provides no reason for doubting the capability and capacity of the security forces to deal with the situation in Kashmir. On the other hand, they need to be assured of the nation’s faith in their ability and they be helped to overcome the huge loss of their comrades.
The media would be well advised to desist from finding fault in the operational procedures and try to blame the entire incident on intelligence failure etc. There is no scope here for sensationalising the incident nor is there any need to call Pakistan-based commentators on Television shows where they can lie blatantly and gloat over the dastardly incident. It is well known that Pakistan is behind the attack, so there is no need to dwell on the subject. There is a need to exhibit sensitivity for the lives of the nation’s soldiers lost. It is best to remain assured that any loop holes found in the standard operating procedures will be identified and rectified. It is in the interest of the security forces to do so and they will do it well.
The Prime Minister has already condemned the attack and assured that the sacrifice of the soldiers will not go in vain, the government should be given the opportunity to react in the most appropriate manner. The government is already at the job. The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) the apex national body on security issues has already held a meeting to assess the situation and come up with an action plan. A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has already been dispatched for this purpose; it will undoubtedly boost the internal investigation process and come up with suggestions on what is required to be done to strengthen security. Undoubtedly, the Union Home Minister and National Security Advisor (NSA) will interact with the commanders on ground and provide them all support that they need to face the emerging security challenges.
One would also expect the political parties in Kashmir, especially the local mainstream entities like the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to come up with a workable plan to mobilise its cadre to control the situation. They can make a big contribution in isolating their people from the machinations of the enemy. It is notable here that such parties have been speaking about the inconvenience being caused to civilians due to convoy movement, it is such pressures on the security forces that leads to situations of the type that we have in hand now.
It is also expected that all national political parties will leave their personal vendettas and agendas behind and join as one to meet the challenge posed by the enemy through the medium of this attack. This is not the time to make political brownie points through a blame game. It is the time to remain united in a strong response and support the government in its endeavours.
That our soldiers are the best in the world and not afraid to give their lives for the country is amply proved time and again, it is now up to the nation to stand up for them.