Thursday, September 29, 2016


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The attack on the Indian Army Base at URI in Kashmir on the night of 25th- 26 September 2016 was a blatant violation of the international border and an aggressive act of provocation. India was shocked and this came at the heels of the attack on Pathankot Army Base and a marked escalation in terrorist related violence in Kashmir. The fact is that Kashmir is careening out of control and with the killing of Byrhan Wani the youth in the valley seem to be completely alienated. It will be quite a challenge to bring the youth, if not to the mainstrean, at least to lower the hostility they bear toward India. Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo who gave a Lecture in Pondicherry University stated clearly that the Government of India had ignored infrastructure and its development in Kashmir since Independence and that was one of the main reasons contributing to the problem. Further he stated that as the Cold War receded, the Pakistani establishment started directing the demobilized jehadis towards Kashmir and the growing Islamic terrorism in Pakistan created a climate conducive for militancy. He seemed to agree with Narendra Modi's call for the liberation of Baluchistan and India taking a lead in raising the "atrocities" perpetrated by the Pakistani Army before the court of global opinion.

The attack was meticulously planned. Satellite imagery of the entire area was obtained and the topography studied with the help of local guides. The soldiers from the Special Operations Unit were made aware of the lay of the land and the launch pads for terrorist activity across the lice of control were identified: Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Kepa sectors were the main targets. Around 12:30 the paratroopers were ari dropped over the area and they launched attacks with laser guided missiles on the terrorist training camps. Seven camps were totally destroyed and it is believed that 38 terrorists were killed. The entire operation was over in a couple of hours and the unit returned to base.

What will the the fallout. The strikes were aimed at the domestic audience which was baying for blood and Narendra Modi has shown himself before the people of India that he is decisive aan will not be taken in by nuclear blackmail. He shored up domestic support and obviously like Obama's raid on Bin Laden which gave him the second term, this strike will have an impact on the upcoming elections. All the major powers of the world, including China did not utter a word against the strike as they are all aware of the fact thta Pakistan has become notorious for the export of violence. This mid night attack signals a decisive change in the Rules of Engagement.

India has said quite clearly that it is willing to discard the frail framework of SAARC and deal with its neighbors on bilateral terms.

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