The Pakistani deep state will do its best to avenge the surgical strikes by India, and resort to tactics it had employed in 1999. Lieutenant General (Retired) Syed Ata Hasnain, who commanded a brigade at Uri, a division at Baramulla and the Srinagar-headquartered 15 Corps, wrote in today's edition of The Times Of India that the sneak attempt at Baramulla yesterday (3 October) was just the opening shot.
Pakistan's deep state has a three-fold objective now: to avenge the surgical strikes through such sneak attacks, force the security forces (especially the army) to be on the defensive to thwart such sneak attempts instead of going on the offensive against terrorists in the state and "motivate youth not to succumb to the domination operations of the army, which is backing the J&K police and CRPF".
Baramulla, he says, was a knee jerk response with poor planning to cause casualties, divert attention, impose caution and thereby seek time for a more professionally planned and executed set of events which are likely to follow.
Lt Gen Hasnain laments that India "quickly forgets its past experience". The Pakistani deep state resorted to the same strategy to avenge its loss of face in Kargil in 1999. Small teams of Pakistani terrorists, he says, staked out various army camps, identified their weaknesses and routines and then attempted forced or sneak entries. Unleashing heavy fire and holding out till they were killed, these terrorists inflicted some casualties. This is exactly what the Pakistani deep state is attempting now.
Lt Gen Hasnain makes the interesting revelation that most of these terrorists at that time were death-row convicts from prisons of western Punjab or AIDS-afflicted terminal cases who were tempted by fat sums of money to their families and motivated to do a last act of redemption for their faith. These terrorists had then made a tactical point without achieving victory: they imposed immense caution on all security forces, forced a revamp of intelligence and camp security and led to more forces being deployed for defensive action than offensive counter-intelligence operations.
Lt Gen Hasnain warns that over the next few weeks, there would be more attempts to cross the LoC, more sneak bids on army installations and high-profile attempts in the hinterland. Being able to thwart them all would have a salutary effect on the campaign to stabilise the streets in Kashmir, he said.
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