By K.N. Pandita
Five days on, Pakistani Rangers assisted by the army units have been firing at our border posts in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch. Pak army is actively involved in opening heavy mortar firing at more posts along the LoC. Their aim is to give cover to the militants camping along the LoC to infiltrate into our side of the line. Our security forces apprehend more firing in days to come.
The weather has changed and winter has set in and now dense fog will engulf ridges and nullahs reducing visibility to almost zero point. This is highly conducive to infiltration as they would not be detected by the security forces easily. Therefore both the Rangers and Pakistani army would want to take advantage of this situation. Infiltrators have been camping along the LoC and watch every opportunity that would facilitate their sneaking in. Long wait along the camps makes them restive and the ISI sleuths apprehend that their continued inaction could become counter-productive. Therefore they precipitate the matter and begin firing at Indian forward posts. They have the twin purpose in doing so. One is to make possible as many infiltrations as they can, and the second is even if infiltration does not take place, at least they are able to convince the militants that Rangers and Army are not complacent.
It is no secret that the ranks of terrorists are drying up as fresh recruitment from Kashmir has dwindled substantially. Ex-filtration from Kashmir or from western border regions of Jammu has been plugged by the army. Lashkar-e-Taibba, the Pakistan-based Theo-fascist organization is recruiting Pakistani volunteers in large numbers, giving them training in terrorist camps, brainwashing them and after offering them some lollypops motivates them for running Kashmir jihad. Pakistan civilian government is not able to control them and dismantle their terrorist structure. The reason is that LeT is extensively supported by the army and the Pak intelligence agencies. We know that Kashmir is a no-go area for Pakistani civil administration and only the writ of the army runs over its affairs. The army cannot relent in Kashmir because then all sources munificently funding Kashmir jihad will freeze. Army is least interested in Kashmir juggernaut getting untied.
Unable to rein in the Army especially in regard to Kashmir, the civilian government in Islamabad has adopted the policy of hunting with the hound and running with the hare. Islamabad is happy that New Delhi has taken upon itself to fight her domestic war in which the army, ISI and Theo-fascists are pitted against the civilian government at home. Thus we see the contradiction in Pakistan’s current India related policy. On official level there is “satisfactory” interaction like on easing the visa regime, forward movement on MFN, cross-LoC trade, cricket diplomacy, Track II etc. but on ground the army-sponsored firing even including heavy mortar continues with accelerated intensity.
The question is will the Rangers and their sponsors meaning the Army and ISI succeed in their plans and conspiracies? They know they will never succeed and that is precisely what they are desirous of. The Army wants that the bogey of Indian aggression should be kept alive always. That is why they are using the denial syndrome so often and so abrasively. They are fully aware that they cannot fight an open war against India since memories of Bangladesh humiliation are hard to get erased from their mind. Indian policy planners are well aware of the deep divide between the army and the civilian government in Pakistan. There are also reports of protests by large groups of local population against Pak firing on Indian posts and inviting retaliation to their detriment. Consequently, MEA has adopted very realistic policy of meeting each on its merits. Our army has upgraded vigilance along the entire LoC and the International Border, worked out the strategy of forestalling major and minor attempts of infiltration as well as ex-filtration forcing the aspirant militants to remain confined to their camps. Of course, there could be stray incidents of success for the infiltrating diehards but once on our side of the line, they are exposed to perils and disaster. There is no more space for”guest mujahids” with unsuspecting Kashmiris who know that the so-called mujahids have no Islamic mission to fulfil. The only mission they are pursuing is to destabilize Kashmir, arrest its development and progress and serve the sadism of their sponsors across the line.
We appreciate that the army has confined itself to eye for eye policy and nothing more beyond that. It has decided not to be complacent and not to lose its cool. Let the cleavage between the Army and the civilian government in that country deepen, no matter whosoever emerges victorious. That Pakistan is a state at war with itself is no more a moot point. As far as we are concerned, let us keep our powder dry.