Thursday, August 2, 2007

Playing Politics with National Security

Troop relocation in J&K: An irrational move

The Indian government seems to be out of touch with the ground reality in Jammu & Kashmir. In its bid to cling on to power in the militancy-ravaged state, the Centre had no qualms about relocating the Indian Army which has been in the forefront of counter-insurgency operations in the valley for more than a decade. Over the past few weeks there has been a spurt in the attacks by militants on security forces as well as pilgrims going to the Amarnath caves. In a recently conducted operation by the Indian Army near Uri, the Army successfully foiled another infiltration attempt by the Pak-backed LET. In the operation, the Army lost a brave colonel, Col. Vasanth and Lance Naik Bachav Shahkant Ganapat. At the end of the operation 8 intruders were killed. This only shows that Pakistan is neither interested in dismantling the terrorist infrastructure nor preventing infiltration from across the border. Given the situation it is foolhardy on the Government’s part to even think of sending the army back to the barracks.

The coalition partner of the Congress in the state the PDP has been demanding troop relocation (troop pull out) for some time now. This is seen as a populist measure by political observers. The situation on the ground does not certainly warrant troop reduction or relocation. Any troop redeployment will have to be done on the basis of assessment and advice of the field commanders and security experts rather than on the basis of political equations. Troop cut in Kashmir will only embolden Pakistan to carry out infiltration into the Kashmir valley. Troop cut if carried out will most certainly compromise India’s security.

Mufti has undermined the country’s national security once too often. Starting with the release of detained terrorists from Indian jails for securing the release of his daughter Rubaiyya and playing politics with the state’s security, this man is guilty of compromising India’s national security.

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