Srinagar: Barely two days after three people, including a businessman Makhan Lal Bindru, were killed in Srinagar, terrorists attacked another school in Srinagar’s Idgah area. During this, after checking the identity cards of all the employees and ensuring that the school principal and another teacher belonged to the minority community, they were brutally murdered.
Terrorists changed strategy in Kashmir
The five cowardly killings in less than 48 hours have sparked yet another debate on the changing ways of terrorists in the Kashmir Valley. This type of terrorist behavior is not new. Since the abrogation of Article 370 and the start of ‘Operation All Out’, many new changes were seen in terrorist activities. Firstly, due to increased crackdown on terrorism sympathizers and financers, recruitment of new terrorists was affected.
Second, since the Indian Army has maintained a three-tier security along the Line of Control, it reduced the availability of arms and ammunition for terrorists. Third, out of their desperation, terrorist groups have just begun to target soft targets such as political leaders, soldiers on leave and other social leaders.
Trying to disturb the peace of Kashmir
In the last few months, there have been several incidents that inspired the terrorist leaders sitting across our western border to come up with a new strategy to revive terrorism. In Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, where it was not even possible to hoist our national flag until a few years ago, the Janmashtami procession came out with great fanfare after almost three decades. A large number of Kashmiri Pandits started returning to their native places and there was a great deal of peace in Srinagar.
Both the communities were jointly starting the process of reviving the culture of Kashmir, so it was natural for the terrorists sitting across the border to be worried. This was the reason why he directed his henchmen sitting in the Kashmir Valley to launch attacks targeting the Hindu community so as to create a communal rift in the community and create an atmosphere of fear throughout Kashmir. I would like to explain in detail some key points of Pakistan’s new terrorist strategy.
Avoiding direct confrontation with security forces
Due to the new strategy of the Indian Army, a large number of terrorist commanders have been killed in the last few years. Anyone appointed as a commander in terrorist ranks is tracked in various ways and traced using new technologies and directly neutralized in the operation. Due to this, the number of terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir has come down drastically. Due to which Pakistan issued new instructions to the terrorists to avoid direct confrontation with the security forces. The terrorist attacks in the past few years clearly echo this strategy.
Recruitment of new unknown young boys
Pakistan has seen that any terrorist who comes into the limelight, whether it is at the time of joining a terrorist group or at the time of appointment to an important post, is killed in no time. The reason for this is that Indian security forces track him easily. Therefore, such boys were recruited, whom the security forces did not know. Not only this, he kept his recruitment secret and did not leak any information related to it in the media.
He tried to completely brainwash such boys before sending them on any terrorist act. During a few encounters in the last few months, it was observed that the slain terrorist was not in the list of security forces and was quietly recruited. This was in contrast to previous years, where the newly recruited terrorist was glorified in a loud manner.
Unsafe targets being targeted
As I mentioned earlier these youth terrorists are inexperienced and novice, so they are used to kill unarmed and vulnerable people like minority community people, small level politicians and social workers. The over ground workers of terrorist groups analyze the target thoroughly and when there is no threat from the security forces in the vicinity, they give a green signal to the terrorists to attack.
Not only this, terrorists also resort to shoot and scoot strategy which means to hit the target and run away. In most of these cases, the escape plan is pre-planned and sympathizers of terrorist groups help in that. Due to this, the risk of being killed in retaliation by security forces is reduced and the identity of the killer remains a secret, while the atmosphere of terror increases significantly throughout the area.
use of small arms and grenades
In almost all the attacks in Jammu and Kashmir during this year, terrorists used pistols and grenades to hit the security forces or soft targets. These weapons can be easily concealed and taken to the scene of the incident, avoiding the eyes of the security forces. Moreover, it is easy to escape using these weapons which makes it difficult to trace and identify the culprit. Pistols and grenades were a major part of the weapons seized in the recent past along the Line of Control/International Border, indicating that the Pakistani strategy is changing and the terrorists are changing the way they operate.
To give communal and international color to the issue
There is a commonality between all such killings in the past. That is the reaction of a select few political leaders. After any such incident, they are the first to react and instead of putting the blame on cross-border terrorism, they start condemning the policies of the Indian government.
Simultaneously, social media like Twitter are flooded with messages sent by ISI controlled handles, who spread misinformation and spread anti-India propaganda. At the same time, Pakistani politicians try to internationalize the issue by making fiery statements. This clearly shows that there is someone from across the border who is running all this.
Trying to keep terror alive in Kashmir
Peace is returning once again in Kashmir and people have understood that terrorism and separatism cannot flourish any more in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the biggest pain for Pakistan, which has been trying to internationalize the Kashmir issue for more than seven decades. By creating communal disharmony, he wants to give life to the dying terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir for a few more days.
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He also wants to create fear in the minds of the common Kashmiri people that one does not need to be an influential person to be killed. You just being from the minority community is enough. However, the way changes are visible on the banks of the mighty Jhelum and people are participating in building a peaceful state, it is certain that Pakistan’s evil acts will fail in no time.
(The author, Major Amit Bansal (R) is a defense expert and has a deep understanding of internal security as well as international relations. The views expressed in this article are his personal views.)