Evolving Tactics of Pakistan-Sponsored Terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir

From 2021 to the present, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists have perpetrated at least 30 odd cross-border attacks on Indian military or police posts. These deadly attacks have claimed numerous precious lives of military/police personnel & innocent civilians. A notable spate of these attacks occurred between June 9 and 11, with four terrorist incidents reported in the Jammu region alone, the most significant being the recent Reasi Terror Attack. The brutal assault on a bus carrying Maa Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Shiv Khori in the Reasi district, claimed at least 10 lives and left 33 severely injured, many of them are battling for their lives.

Pakistan has significantly evolved its terror strategies in Jammu & Kashmir in many ways. The older strategies have been effectively countered by the Indian law enforcement agencies thereby rendering Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism on the brink of extinction Firstly, the focus has shifted from Kashmir Region to the Jammu Division, with targeted locations including Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua, Doda, and Reasi. This change marks a strategic relocation of terror activities. The strategic shift in its strategy to engage the Hindu-Sikh-dominated Jammu region has alarmed the security experts at New Delhi.

Secondly, a new element in their guerrilla tactics involves using caves and deep crevices in dense forests as hiding places. These terrorists now pre-stock arms, ammunition, food, clothing, and medicine in these undisclosed locations, which are accessible to them through local guides. After executing attacks on security forces or police patrols, the terrorists retreat to these caves, eluding detection. This necessitates the deployment of helicopters and drones by security forces to locate these elusive operatives. It is imperative to mention that this is in a way not a new modus operandi adopted by the cross-border infiltrators but already in practice. The local support has largely been strangulated but not completely stopped owing to presence of the extremists elements on the our side as well. The terror-financing is also curbed to a large extent by the security agencies however, the larger focus has been centralized on the valley for a significant period of time. As Pakistan is unsuccessful in spreading its terror agenda in the kashmir region therefore its establishment is now re-calibrating its mathematics in the Jammu region.

BIG BREAKING – A huge breakthrough in the #Reasi terror attack. In this, one Terror associate, Hakam,45 years has arrested by J&K Police at Reasi. He was involved in harbouring terrorists multiple times. Along with providing Food & Shelter, also acted as guide & helped them reach… pic.twitter.com/vxrvTh7UVM

— Vivek Singh (@VivekSi85847001) June 19, 2024

The third and perhaps most alarming tactical change is the use of a new, previously unknown route for infiltration into India. Reports indicate that China has constructed a tunnel in the Lipa Valley, connecting the Kashmir border with the Karakoram Highway. Pakistan-sponsored terrorists are allegedly utilizing this secret route to transport arms, ammunition, and other war materials to border locations. The China angle in harboring terrorism in J&K is relatively newer phenomena in terms of providing the route/canal. The joining of hands of the two of the notorious neighbors make a formidable nexus warrants iron hands to deal with. The current dispensation at the New Delhi is resolutely working to thwart any misadventures of the two since its inception, however the current challenge requires even greater will and attempt to curb the menace of terrorism emanating from Pakistan and nurtured by its foster father China.

The fourth explicit change is the improved training and armament of a new generation of terrorists. These operatives are not only well-versed in guerrilla warfare tactics but are also equipped with ultra-modern, China-made weapons, communication devices, bullets, and hand grenades. The earlier route of illegally transporting men and material is diversified and new routes of Nepal (Poros border), Punjab and North-East India is also used. The Khalistani elements are also utilized in safeguarding and harboring the terrorists. The deadly drug trafficking is enormously used to generate money to nurture anti-india sentiments. These developments highlights China’s direct involvement in the Indo-Pak dispute over Kashmir, providing Pakistan not just moral support but also tangible military aid. This dangerous collaboration between the two adversaries aims to weaken India through continuous, low-intensity conflicts, to be more precise ‘bleed India through thousands cuts’.

Unfortunately, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in India has been entangled by its own rhetoric and strategic missteps vis-a-vis Pakistan Sponsored Terrorism. Assertions of India’s determination to reclaim Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) are grounded in the instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja of Kashmir. However, the latest aggressive posturing adopted by the incumbent government is a testament to the firm will encounter any attempt to spread unrest in the indian territory. The unconfirmed news of unknown men carrying out assassination attempts inside Pakistan and other parts of the world are symbolized with the changed attitude of the India (If any).

Reasi terror attack: J&K Police makes the first arrest, accused terrorist Hakimdeen provided logistics to terrorists.

Hakim, a resident of Rajouri, “was involved in harboring the terrorists multiple times. Along with providing food and shelter, the said person also acted as a guide… pic.twitter.com/2TVCNRGrt9

— Megh Updates 🚨™ (@MeghUpdates) June 19, 2024

In 1994, the Indian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution asserting that PoJK was an integral part of India, emphasizing India’s will and capacity to reclaim it. Who can forget the vigorously delivered speech of Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament on the same where he may be heard saying ‘We may sacrifice our lives for Pak-occupied J&K.’ The think tanks are busy in demystifying Indian strategy being formulated & adopted in POJK and most of them stressed that it would be a bloodless revolt by the oppressed people themselves to cede in the J&K, without a bullet being fired from India. The claims are also bolstered by various statements of cabinet ministers time to time signaling the veiled and camouflaged master plan to reclaim this region.

Yet, nearly three decades have passed without any concrete attempt to retake the territory. Repeatedly warning Pakistan to vacate PoJK without any substantial follow-through has turned these warnings into empty threats.

During the past few decades, Pakistan has implemented significant structural, juridical, and administrative changes in the part of Jammu and Kashmir under its control. Meanwhile, India’s efforts have been limited to issuing ‘paper tiger’ warnings, lacking any decisive action to demonstrate a genuine intent to reclaim PoJK.

Historical attempts to resolve the Kashmir issue have often ended in disappointment. For instance, during the protracted Kashmir talks between Indian Foreign Minister Sardar Swarn Singh and Pakistani Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, there were indications that a settlement might involve bifurcating the Valley, using the Wular Lake as a dividing line. However, in the final stages, Bhutto withdrew from the agreement, leaving the negotiations in shambles. Rumors suggest that internal political dynamics, including interference by the then Chief Minister of J&K, Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad, played a role in derailing these talks.

Further attempts at resolving the issue, such as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s initiative in 1964, also faltered. Nehru had tasked Sheikh Abdullah with proposing a confederation of three states—India, Pakistan, and J&K—to Pakistan’s Ayub Khan. However, Khan rejected the idea outright, and the subsequent death of Nehru ended any further pursuit of this proposal.

The consistent inability to resolve the Kashmir issue has reinforced the perception among Pakistani rulers that India is vulnerable in this region, encouraging them to exploit this weakness continuously. The current geopolitical landscape has shifted, with China openly supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. This support is driven by China’s strategic interests, particularly its infrastructure projects in the region, including the Karakoram Highway and the illegal occupation of Aksai Chin and Shaksgam.

China is now actively involved in the destabilization of India in Kashmir, constructing tunnels and bunkers along the Karakoram Highway that facilitate the movement of Pakistani terror organizations. This collaboration between China and Pakistan poses a significant threat to India’s security.

In recent discussions between the Pakistani Prime Minister and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the security of PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan was a key topic, particularly in the context of India’s repeated threats to reclaim these territories. The Pakistani Prime Minister emphasized to Xi that if India succeeded in retaking PoJK, it would disrupt the Karakoram Highway and jeopardize China’s control over Aksai Chin and Shaksgam. This potential shift in the geostrategic balance underscores the high stakes involved.

While it remains debatable whether India will take decisive action to reclaim PoJK, it is imperative for India to address the growing Sino-Pak axis. This alliance poses a significant challenge to India’s security and regional stability. India, as the world’s largest democracy, must play a crucial role in supporting freedom struggles within the South Asian region, particularly in its neighborhood.

To counter this threat effectively, India needs to adopt a multi-faceted approach. This includes enhancing its military preparedness, strengthening diplomatic alliances, and providing robust support to democratic movements in the region. Only through a comprehensive and strategic response can India navigate the complex challenges posed by the evolving dynamics of the Indo-Pak-China relationship.


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