By K.N. Pandita
Security scenario along our eastern frontier is rather disturbing. Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir is two decades old but that of the North Eastern States is much older. Ground realities in these two insurgency infested sectors are different and bear little similarity. Yet according to the reports coming in from different sources, a new development is taking place under which Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) commanders are planning a ‘Strong United Front’ against Indian Government along with Maoists and JK-based terror outfits, the Delhi Police today claimed after arresting two “high-ranking” militants of the Manipur-based organisation.
The PLA now has four divisions and each division has a commander, lieutenants, sergeant, lance corporals and sepoys in its ranks. The cadre strength is 1,500 and they are armed with sophisticated weapons. The PLA was formed in 1978 comprising ethnic groups such as Nagas, Kukis and Meiteis with the objective of liberating Manipur. Seven Metei outfits had formed a United Front to pursue their goals.
Has free India’s frontier policy been weak and indecisive? Why have there been armed insurgencies in the North Eastern States? Why successive governments in New Delhi have not anticipated rebellious mood of the people in eastern region and taken preventive measures, is a question that needs to be answered. Who does not know that our country is beset with inimical neighbours on our north-western as well as north-eastern boundaries? Pakistan and China both have adopted belligerent policy against India, and are using the border states in north-west and north-east of India as their base points for fomenting trouble aimed at destabilizing India. Pakistani intelligence agency is active in Nepal and Bangladesh, and some of Pakistan-based religious extremist organizations have carved strong foothold in both of India’s close neighbours. In addition, Myanmar has also come into picture where Pakistan-based rabid extremist organizations have made some dent. PLA’s political arm Revolutionary People’s Front runs a Government-in-exile from Myanmar with an elaborate structure. As part of its revitalisation efforts, the PLA was reorganised on the lines of a disciplined Army. Since long ISI has been very active in Nepal which has become a meeting point of various fundamentalist and terrorist organizations’ leadership. Readers will recollect that it was in Nepal from where Indian Airlines flight had been hijacked by armed Pakistani militants who sought release of their leaders from Indian prisons. In Bangladesh although the present government maintains cordial relations with India, yet the non-state performers of terror and fundamentalism are receiving a boost with huge funding coming from Saudi Arabia.
We are not as yet in full know about which terrorist group or groups active in Kashmir will become willing partner(s) of PLA and CPI (Maoists). But the inference drawn from intensification of infiltration bids in Kashmir and concentration of terrorists in terrorist camps in PoK suggests that all terrorist groups operating in Kashmir would be willing to joint hands with their common enemy viz. India. This means that terrorism in the sub-continent will acquire new dimensions. The situation is exacerbated by the Chinese becoming active in Gilgit-Baltistan region which poses direct threat to India’s Siachin security strategy. That is why we think India’s security scenario on her frontiers is not reassuring and in all probability our security planners are quite aware of it.
This demands that India maintain regular upgrading of her frontier defence and security strategy. We might need curtailing some of less priority programmes and projects and invest effectively in our defence preparedness. Insurgencies along frontier have to be addressed with double strategy of economic development and curbing of malevolent factors. There is stress on our intelligence establishment but it has to be upgraded and made more effective. We cannot afford to be complacent with any achievement made in containing terrorism. Containment of terrorism is a moot issue and nobody, not even the mighty powers can give any guarantee of when and how international terrorism will come to an end. Revelations coming to light in the case of recent Delhi High Curt bomb blast and the network behind it show how terror is closely linked and transcends international borders. This is a unique situation and needs unique treatment. How long will India remain on Seven Metei outfits had formed a United Front to pursue their goals. Seven Metei outfits had formed a United Front to pursue their goals. receiving end?