Pakistan has made it clear that its policy towards India would be, " death by a thousand cuts." The number of terror related incidents are on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir and this has been coupled with increased cease fire violations.
There appears to be no solution in sight and on the face of it, the situation appears to be worsening. 2018 alone has seen 11 security personnel being martyred. Adding to the grim picture was a statement by Lt General Anbu who said that over 300 terrorists are waiting in the south and the north of Peer Panjal to infiltrate.
The signals from the political leadership in Kashmir is mixed. Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister has called for talks with Pakistan and says that this is the only solution. Farooq Abdulla of the National Conference calls for war while his MLA Akbar Lone shouts Pakistan Zindabad slogans in the J&K assembly.
While India has always maintained that talks must be initiated, the question is who does one speak with. The manner in which the problem has escalated in Kashmir makes it very clear that it is the army there which is calling the shots. The political leadership in Pakistan... well it is just there.
The escalation by Pakistan was seen during the Pathankot attack. National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval had in fact given out pin pointed intelligence to the three military chiefs about the attack. He had also told his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Januja to stop the Jaish from carrying out the attack. All this fell on deaf ears and Januja was unable to impress anyone back at his home thanks to the army calling the shots there.
The aim of a death by a thousand cuts policy of Pakistan is to inflict maximum damage. The cease fire violations will continue, the terrorist attacks will increase and the infiltrations would be enhanced. C D Sahay, the former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing says that Pakistan's only aim is to keep inflicting damage with the hope that India would ask it to stop and call for talks. How can that be possible. Don't we have any self-respect, Sahay asks.
The experts say that the J&K government needs to take a consistent stance. Mehbooba cannot on one hand ask for talks and on the other go soft on the separatists. One may recall she questioning the NIA's probe into the terror funding by Hurriyat leaders. It is the Hurriyat which has been inciting the youth to take up arms. The money they get is from Pakistan to keep the Valley on the boil.
Hence backing them and questioning a legitimate probe does no good to the cause. Reigning in on these separatists is what is needed. An Asiya Andrabi cannot be left to walk the streets openly after attending a rally in Pakistan addressed by Hafiz Saeed. Action ought to be initiated against Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for openly hobnobbing with officers of the Pakistan army. A Yasin Malik cannot get shelter in Kashmir after openly claiming that he killed four personnel of the Indian Air Force.
High casualty rate:
In the midst of all this political talk, it is the Indian soldier who ends up making the sacrifice. He is in the line of fire and the lack of decision making clubbed with a confused political leadership in J&K, it is the soldier who loses his life.
Between 1998 and 2018, 6,368 security personnel have lost their lives in Kashmir. In the year 2017, 83 personnel lost their lives while in 2016 it was 88. In the years 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, the fatalities were, 41, 51, 61, 17 and 30 respectively, data compiled by satp.org shows.
The number of civilian deaths reported in 2018 is 5 while the previous year was 57. In 2016 it was 14 while in 2015 the number was 20. For the years 2014, 2013, 2012 and 20111, the number of civilian deaths were 32, 20, 16 and 34 respectively.
However the number of terrorist killings too has risen. 2018 and 2017 witnessed 13 and 218 deaths respectively. 2016 and 2015 witnessed 165 and 113 terrorist killings. For the years 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, the number of terrorist deaths were 110, 100, 84 and 119 respectively.