Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar: The three-day Pampore siege has elaborated on why the Armed forces should stop wondering about the controversy over declaring the valley of Jammu and Kashmir as “disturbed” under AFSPA. The Security Forces instead should focus on learning how to deal with the militants in future.
Unlearn the old, Prepare for New
Concerned over the ‘revival of militancy’, the Army needs to plug the loopholes which are glaring in their faces now after the Pampore encounter to overcome the shortcomings rather than experimenting new theories during action. Movement of a large number of troops had not only helped infiltrators but also enabled the militants to expand their activities. The militants have stormed of a number of camps in the border district of Kupwara and the recent attack on the Army convoy in Pampore resulted in the loss of two Captains and one Lance Naik.
The encounter which happened to take place, just a kilometre outside Srinagar, lasted for more than 48 hours from Saturday to Monday afternoon, is a perfect lesson why we shouldn’t carry out attacks on terrorism on Kashmir without a proper strategy in place.
Terrorist Attacks will have more local Support in coming days
Terrorist attacks will keep on happening and it is difficult to rule out such incidents. It will take time to curb these things. A new way that militants have adopted is that they want people to come on streets, stage protests against security forces because ‘that’ will definitely make them martyrs. The Saturday to Monday gun battle offered ample proof of the worsening situation where locals came out in the open shouting anti-India, anti-Forces slogans. Even the mosque in the area was playing songs supporting the Terrorists.
The Army has not learned any new way to deal with new threats. They should be working on changing the strategy of deployment and area domination and when there is a doubt their strategy should also ensure that they don’t suffer any damages in these operations.
This is not the 1990s
The Sempora encounter, which started by carrying out attack on CRPF convoy, saw the killing of two troopers and nine injured on Saturday afternoon. This encounter also had multiple inbuilt challenges. After the ambush, the militants had a chance to run away, a familiar strategy they would adopt during the 1990s. Instead, they walked into the Entrepreneurship Development Institute building, where they asked the civilians to evacuate.
Then the Army adopted a flip-flop strategy, losing two Captains and one Lance Naik. Undoubtedly, the militants were in an extremely advantageous position, hiding behind the large block of walls that is more than 60 feet high, with many windows.
Militants are better equipped and better trained now
The Army evidently never calculated such a scenario in its counter-insurgency strategies. That something happens for the first time is no logic for the loss of Human Capital. Fidayeen attacks have been happening in Kashmir for the last Two decades now. The question is: Could not what the Army did in the end have been done in the beginning?
Old tactics cannot and should not be applied in the changing situations where terrorists adopt new techniques and are equipped with a new mindset to fight for. In the 1990s, when the army would go in for anti-terrorist operations, they would take on militants with double the strength. The soldiers would use that advantage to neutralise militants after a brief spell of gunfighting.
Nowadays the local youth armed with stones often reach the site where a gun battle is underway giving birth to different problems and then army has to tackle those too side by side. If gun could have been the solution to solve ‘Kashmir’, then why for the past 23 years, no solution has come out?