July 2001 News

Security forces not tired of militancy

18 July 2001
The Pioneer
Rahul Datta

New Delhi: With the Agra summit failing to provide a break-through in the Indo- Pak ties, Indian security forces feel that there is a ''strong'' need to counter the ''perception'' that they have been ''bled'' and are ''tired'' by the decade-long militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The Security forces are of the opinion that the Pakistani establishment is under strong impression that India no longer has the stomach for a protracted fight against ''jehad''. This forced Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to invite General Musharraf and India would give some concessions. While appreciating the Government''s stand on cross- border terrorism, the Security forces, however, feel the will to take on the militants has to be demonstrated on the ground. They also admit that some Pakistan-based militant groups like the Laskhar-e- Toiba (LeT) and Al-Badr have managed to gain the sympathy of the Kashmiri people. This is due to the fact that the ultras owning allegiance to these outfits have inflicted heavy casualties on the Security forces and do not flinch from getting killed in the process. Reports filtering from across the border also indicate that the jehadis are going to exploit the term cross-border terrorism to their advantage. Their leaders will propagate the myth that India is forced to use this term as it can no longer face the militants. This propaganda will help the fundamentalist organisations to recruit fighters and keep up their morale, sources said here on Wednesday. They also cautioned that Delhi and Mumbai may face the brunt of Pakistan-based militant organisations after the Agra summit failed. In fact, the ''jehadi'' outfits warned on Tuesday to widen their arc of activities beyond Kashmir and hit symbols of governance all over the country. Taking this threat seriously, Security agencies are redrawing their strategies to counter any move by the ultra groups. An incident in Delhi or Mumbai will get them the desired media mileage in India and abroad. The two megapolis, moreover, provide excellent opportunities to the militants to carry out a hit and then melt into the teeming city. The two bustling cities also offer any number of targets which cannot be guarded round the clock by the Security forces, it was pointed out. Bracing themselves for a fresh onslaught by the infiltrators, the Security forces in Kashmir, meanwhile, have intensified their counter-insurgency operations, sources said. They, however, admitted the last two months saw increased infiltration from across the Line of Control (LOC). Though many of them were accounted for by the Security forces, many others managed to get in, sources said. The death toll stood at more than 50, including militants and Security personnel. There was also an attempt to blow up the Kashmir Secretariat, they added.


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