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Young Bites. Dated: 2/13/2018 12:21:43 PM

Despite vociferous denials to the contrary, Pakistan continues to finance, train, equip and support Kashmiri militants and actively abet their attempts at infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC). As the initial recruitment base in the Kashmir Valley has very nearly completely dried up, Pakistan is increasingly resorting to sponsoring Islamic mercenaries to let loose a reign of terror in J&K. A suo motto statement made by the Defence Minister in the Lok Sabha on August 5, 1998, explained Pakistan’s frustrations and its desperation to raise the ante in Kashmir. Pakistan also aims to ensure that the Indian Army and Central Para-Military Forces (CPMFs) remain increasingly engaged in counter-insurgency/internal security operations in J&K and the north-eastern states, so as to degrade India’s superiority in conventional combat through a process of strategic fatigue. While ensuring that violence in the ongoing low intensity conflict is maintained at a low level so that it does not lead to a conventional war (that is, it does not cross India’s perceived threshold of tolerance), Pakistan can be expected to continue to develop its nuclear and missile capabilities to match Indian capabilities in these fields. Pakistan hopes that such capabilities would further deter India from resorting to conventional conflict to resolve the Kashmir issue. The Indian Government, on the other hand, has exhibited remarkable restraint in the face of grave provocation. It is now engaged in taking stock of the emerging developments to evolve a co-ordinated civil and military ‘action plan’ to ensure that the initiative does not remain with Pakistan and that India is able to safeguard its national security and territorial integrity, as well as, eventually root out militancy from J&K and other parts of India. Though military operations against the Pakistan-sponsored militants and terrorists have been extremely successful, the nation has paid a heavy price in terms of civilian and military casualties. The economic costs have also been staggering and obviously cannot be sustained indefinitely. It is imperative that the impact of the various complexities and nuances of the J&K issue is carefully evaluated so that pragmatic decisions can be made to resolve it expeditiously. Pakistan has always resorted to firing along the LoC to facilitate infiltration by Pakistani and foreign militants who are organised, trained equipped, financed, armed and finally infiltrated with active covering fire and support from Pakistani Army deployed along the LoC. In recent months, especially since May 1998, our security forces have been able to intercept and reduce the level of infiltration, thereby frustrating Pakistan’s designs. As if to give vent to its frustration, Pakistan has started targeting not only our Army posts but also civilian inhabited areas.

 

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