So it seems, the Central Cabinet has agreed to give a Long Rope to the Terrorist Outfits operating in J&K, their Separatist Supporters, the J& K Politicians and Chief Minister Mufti. The Army has finally agreed to the government’s decision to suspend anti-terrorist operations in J&K during Ramzan.
This is inspite of the fact that similar initiatives earlier have flopped in the past, with terror outfits using the lull in operations to regroup, re-arm and carry out further violence.
In case one cares to remember, the non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) ordered in 2000-2001 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had failed in achieving any results and instead led to a surge in violence levels.
The terror outfits had time to regroup and then they planned and carried out strikes like the ones on the J&K legislative assembly on October 1 and Parliament on December 13, 2001.
Anti-terrorist operations have been extremely lethal this year. 75 terrorists have been killed this year, though 30 soldiers and 32 civilians have also lost their lives. However a majority of the terrorists have been from the leadership rather than the rank and file.
Initially opposed to any unilateral suspension of operations, the Army came on board after two main operational concerns were addressed in what was essentially a political decision. Now the Army will have the right to retaliate if any convoy, camp or patrol is attacked by militants.
And also, Army will be allowed to conduct specific intelligence-based operations, like the one in which Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Sameer Ahmed Bhatalias was killed at Drabgam village,Pulwama district,on April 30. Even the area domination patrols will continue as before. However CASO or cordon-and-search and SADO -seek-and-destroy operations will be curtailed during Ramzan.
These are operations which interferes with the daily activities of the civilians too. Though Some CASO/SADO operations, required for instance, for sanitization of roads for vehicular movements will be under taken, in case required
However there is nothing for the Pakistan Army to celebrate. There will be active dominance of the 778-km long Line of Control with Pakistan. Any cross border attempts to infiltrate will be combated effectively and intensively.
Pakistan has carried out as many as 860 ceasefire violations along the LoC and another 120 along the IB in 2017. Around 800 CFVs have already been recorded along the LoC in 2018, which is set to break all records in the last 15 years.
The ceasefire with Pakistan, had come into force along the LoC, the 198-km International Border (IB) in J&K and the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen in November 2003 has become meaningless.