IT IS time for the Security Forces to act tougher than ever in Kashmir to teach terrorists and separatists a lesson they would never forget. This need is being felt all the more following the killing of three workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a terror strike in Kulgam district by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). In the past one year, the Security Forces have done an excellent job in restricting terrorism by fighting back in real time, killing many dreaded terrorists and arresting many others. They may have lost a few of their brave-hearts all right in this fight, but this is the price a nation must pay in such conflicts.
However, time has now come to hit back the hardest and corner terrorists and separatists still further. Of course, it is a hard fight that requires every grain of energy and focus because what is involved is an enemy with international backing. Despite this, the Security Forces have been doing a great job in Kashmir and elsewhere.
In the past one year, their responses have touched the highest standards of professionalism and patriotism. They have made the best use of their manpower and firepower and brought the terrorists down to their knees, so much so that the whole nation has begun realising the quality of their contribution. But terrorism is a non-conventional activity in which standard responses have only a limited utility. Terrorists also have another quality -- of bouncing back even after crushing defeats on the way. The reasons are simple: One, the terrorists are mostly hired men -- mercenaries -- and their lives do not matter to their masters. Two, the overall costs of the proxy wars the terrorists’ masters launch is minimal bringing visible gains.
Three, the terrorists have no territory to guard, no honour to keep, no need for soldiering (that is, working hard to save their accomplices in combat). It is only natural, therefore, that the Government forces often have to keep refashioning their responses to terrorist activity so as to sat in the fight and defeat the enemy. That makes their part of the conflict quite difficult. No matter all that, it must be said with a legitimate sense of pride that the Indian Security Forces have been doing a commendable job over time. There were times when the terrorists and separatists appeared to be proving better and smarter. But that was when the political leadership was not mentally geared up to put up a no-nonsense fight against terror. When the political leadership changed and started allowing a greater professional freedom to the Security Forces and Intelligence agencies, then the texture of conflict changed -- which became visible in the past one year. It is this good work that the Security Forces have to continue with greater grit and gumption so that the enemy starts backing down. The killing of three BJP workers in Kulgam district makes it necessary that the Security Forces mount a counter-attack against terror with greater vigour so that the success of their operations in the past one year gets consolidated for further gains. It is obvious that the terrorists are now beginning to target men from the central ruling party -- the BJP.
The Security Forces can only ill-afford to allow this to continue. Hence the need to mount a counter-attack that would decimate terror groups at the earliest. Besides this, the Government must not hesitate launching surgical strikes across the border in real time if the provocation is big enough. That will create a greater impact at all levels and the international masters to sponsor terrorism in India realise that they are up against a patriotic wall they cannot penetrate easily. The target, thus, should be to create such an impression -- among terrorists and in the larger world.