Making a mockery of security

A Pakistani terrorist, captured in 2014, was being brought to the Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar for a ‘routine medical check-up’ under police escort on Tuesday. The terrorist snatched a gun from one of the policemen, fired on both and made good his escape. One policeman died on the spot, the other succumbed to his injuries later. This is not a case of cross-border firing by Pakistani border guards or an attack by militants trying sneak across the Line of Control. Putting to shame our security bandobast, the terrorist could kill the police without resistance or impunity and vanish before anyone got any the wiser. After the incident, official spokesmen representing various arms and wings of the Government are making the usual noises of taking ‘strong retaliatory action’, of making ‘surgical strikes’, of making Pakistan pay a ‘heavy price’ and all the rest of it.
By now the people of India have become familiar with surgical strikes. It means our jawans crossing the border, killing some militants or Pakistani soldiers and coming back with or without suffering any losses. But these ‘surgical strikes’ have no tangible effect on Pakistan as it continues to play its own game ‘bleeding India through a thousand cuts’. Nothing has been done by us on the ground that sends a clear message to Pakistan that the cost of one militant attack will cost Pakistan much more than it has so far bargained for and such misadventures will be increasingly costly. Our armed forces can deliver that message to Pakistan most emphatically, provided the leadership of the Government has the political will and is ready to pay whatever price has to be paid. That alone can deter Pakistan. Blabbering about ‘surgical strikes’ will definitely strike no fear in the Pakistani army and the ISI.
The Centre has to make up its mind about the long-term policy India should adopt to stop Pak-inspired terrorism once for all. ‘Surgical strikes’ of the type India is resorting to, will have no deterrent effect. If the Centre’s assessment is that escalating the size and intensity of surgical strikes may provoke Pakistan to trigger a nuclear war which should be avoided, then Pakistan will continue to behave like a rogue State as it has always done. Pakistan by now is convinced that India will not do anything more than it is doing now and it can merrily go on inflicting a thousand cuts. What is necessary is to think out of the box. Pakistan can no longer be allowed to make a mockery of our security.

Tuesday, 13 February, 2018