Reasi Terror Attack: It's Time India Inflicts Pain On Pakistan Army, Hitting Its Proxies Alone Won't Work

Swarajya Staff

Jun 10, 2024, 03:28 PM | Updated 03:28 PM IST

Pakistan Army Chief Asim Munir during a briefing near the Line of Control in December 2022 (ISPR)
Pakistan Army Chief Asim Munir during a briefing near the Line of Control in December 2022 (ISPR)
  • Only by making the Pakistan Army feel the pain can India hope to deter future attacks.
  • The recent massacre of Hindu pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on the day that Narendra Modi took the oath of office for a third term as Prime Minister has reignited debates about the adequacy of India's military deployment in the region.

    The Opposition, emboldened by its improved performance in the elections, has been targeting the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, asking why the Prime Minister is not following up on his threat of hitting India's enemies in their homes.

    As the debate on India's military options unfolds in policy circles and on social media, the government has maintained relative silence on the issue.

    Meanwhile, some argue that the relocation of forces to Eastern Ladakh due to the standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control has created a security vacuum that terrorists are now exploiting. However, the reality is more complex.

    Even if India were to deploy twice as many troops in the region, such attacks would likely continue. This is because these assaults are not the result of widespread militancy or insurgency. Instead, they are precise operations executed by a small cadre of highly trained terrorists, likely ex-Special Services Group (SSG) or Special Forces of the Pakistan Army. These operatives, often working in teams of five to six, can sustain their missions with minimal external support, relying on local sympathisers and underground networks.

    The dense forests and challenging terrain of the region give these terrorists a tactical advantage, making it exceedingly difficult for Indian forces to track and eliminate them. Even if all current terrorists were neutralised, others would simply cross the Line of Control (LoC) and resume their activities, selecting the time and place of their attacks at will. Decades of propaganda against India in general and Hindus in particular has ensured that the Pakistan Army has an endless supply of ready volunteers to fight for its cause.

    To effectively address this threat, India must shift its focus from merely pursuing terrorists in the forests to targeting the root of the problem: the Pakistan Army's officer corps.

    These officers are the ones who train, support, and deploy these terrorists. The Pakistan Army also serves as the fountain head of the Islamist ideology that keeps its proxies like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen motivated.

    India's past responses to the Pakistan Army, such as the surgical strikes in Balakot and Uri, have served their purposes but are no longer sufficient.

    A more decisive strategy, that prioritises inflicting pain on the Pakistan Army directly, is needed to restore deterrence on the LoC. India should consider launching fire assaults across the LoC, aiming to inflict significant damage on the soldiers and officers of the Pakistan Army. For every Indian killed by terrorists, 10 Pakistani soldiers should be targeted. It is crucial to ensure that the officers who facilitate these terrorist activities feel the repercussions of their actions, not just their proxies.

    There has arguably never been a better time to strike against the Pakistan Army. The severe state of Pakistan's finances, coupled with significant domestic disorder, has created a situation where its options against India are severely restricted.

    This combination of economic turmoil and internal chaos undermines Pakistan's ability to effectively respond to external pressures. The Pakistan Army is distracted not only by the internal disorder but also faces pressure from terror outfits and the Taliban on its western front. Consequently, a well-timed and calculated move by India could force the Pakistan Army onto the backfoot.

    Only by making the Pakistan Army feel the pain can India hope to deter future attacks. This approach might seem harsh, but it is a necessary measure to protect Indian citizens and maintain regional stability. The solution to these heinous attacks does not lie within Indian borders alone; it requires a robust response that extends across the LoC and directly impacts those responsible for supporting terrorism.

    Derived from a Twitter thread by Rohit Vats. He tweets @KesariDhwaj.

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