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Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Army wants 6 months to smash PoK terror camps
October 4, 2016
Courtesy : Times
New Delhi : India’s armed forces have told the political executive that only a
sustained six-month campaign will seriously damage the terror infrastructure in
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Top military officers, speaking off record,
told ET that after India went public with its surgical strikes across the Line
of Control (LoC) last week, the armed forces brass had told the government that
off and on strikes will not damage terrorists’ capabilities, and a medium-term
plan is needed.
Armed forces’ senior-most strategists have
also told the government that the country should be prepared for repercussions
in Kashmir — there was a terrorist attack on a Border Security Force-Army camp
in Baramulla on Sunday — as well as terrorist attacks elsewhere.
Good opportunity for action
Armed forces’ strategists also said a
determined campaign is needed to target launch pads for such attacks. A top army officer said: “We have to look
at a sustained campaign. The terror network is on the back foot, but to really
achieve something, we have to look at a medium-term plan, a six-month campaign.
A one-off event will not deter them.”
India’s generals are of the view that
Pakistan-based and sponsored terror handlers will attempt to push in more
terrorists in the coming weeks to seek ‘revenge’ for India’s surgical strikes.
Therefore, more terrorist launch pads are
likely to come up in PoK. These need to be neutralised, India’s military brass
feels. Armed forces’ top officers have also told the government that the
declared strike across LoC means India will have to up its game on Kashmir
security, both beefing up the manning of the border as well as smarter
political approaches in the Valley that include “credible healing touches”.
The brass feels demoralisation among groups
in the Valley that help terrorists presents a good opportunity for further
action. “We have the opportunity right now. Everyone is geared up and we have a
much stronger hold on LoC than the other side.
This is the time to make an actual
difference that will deter cross-border terror support,” another top army
officer said. India’s military and intelligence assessment is that PoK hosts
over 40 terror training camps.
These are located deep inside PoK. There
are also around 50 launch pads, hosting more than 200 terrorists, close to LoC
on the PoK side. These sites are protected by the Pakistan Army.