Terrorism has been the greatest and most persistent threat India has faced for the last 30 years. It not only originates from Pakistan but has also found a stable home in Kashmir where pro-Pakistan organisations, political outfits and religious leaders have bred anti-India sentiment over many decades. They’ve successfully dished out thousands of terrorists from within the Valley. But now things seem to have changed rapidly.
Recently, the Chinar Corps Commander Lt General KJS Dhillon said that the Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) top leadership – barring just one – has been eliminated from the Valley. On Saturday, JeM’s self-styled Kashmir chief Qari Yasir was killed among three terrorists in South Kashmir. The operation took place post the Army got intel of JeM terrorists wanting to carry out an attack on Republic Day. Qari Yasir was responsible for the killing of two members of the Gujjar community in Pulwama district post the abrogation of Article 370.
One can see how the government has given an absolute free hand to the forces to take revenge and not let any act of terrorism go unpunished.
The Hizbul Mujahideen was formed in 1989 with the motive to integrate Kashmir with Pakistan. The ISI played a pivotal role in its formation. The JeM is known to all as one of the most radicalised and effective of terrorists organisations operating from Pakistan. It has spread terror for two decades including the dastardly Pulwama attack.
In the last 4-5 years the Army has been freed to conduct operations inside the Valley. Earlier governments didn’t allow operations within residential areas because they feared that local sentiment will turn against them and that will result in them losing votes. It was pure vote-bank politics above national interest and the safety of our soldiers.
In 2016, the Modi government brought back CASO (Cordon and Search Operations) and SADO (Search and Destroy Operations). One consequence of this is that if the Army has intel of a terrorist being shielded by a local family in its home soldiers can enter and take necessary action against the terrorist. Earlier this wasn’t allowed which meant many terrorists taking shelter and subsequently running away to carry out terror attacks elsewhere, even in major cities of the country.
The permission to destroy terrorist launchpads in PoK and also Pakistan Army posts that provide cover fire to terrorists has created a fear in Pakistan over the lack of efficacy of its anti-India policy. Add to this how the soldiers can now shoot-at-sight anyone infiltrating, and all this combined has drastically reduced terror incidents all over India.
It’s been just less than 6 years since Narendra Modi came to power and in these very 6 years India hasn’t seen a single terror attack in any of its cities. This isn’t magic. Our forces were the same before he took oath in 2014 and after he took oath. But something has changed; an honest will to eliminate terrorism and protect soldiers and citizens has emerged since 2014. Or else, could anyone have imagined that not a single terrorist attack will take place in Kashmir post a move as major as abrogating Article 370?