Anti-terrorism operations must continue

C Raja Mohan contends that India must unilaterally stop anti-terrorist operations in Kashmir to signal its commitment to keep the India-Pakistan peace process moving forward. Coupled with unilateral troop reductions and release of political prisoners, Raja Mohan proposes an idea whose time has not yet come. (Linkthanks: Kumar)

If Musharraf’s dismantling of terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territories were substantial and complete, it would have been reasonable to contemplate such a move. But in spite of good intentions and good fencing, the supply-chain of cross-border terrorism is still intact, and just-in-time delivery of terrorists is still continuing. In such circumstances, unilaterally ceasing anti-terrorist operations would require a tremendous leap of faith. Besides, the current environment presents Indian forces with a good window of opportunity to decimate terrorists already in India. Squandering it would be foolish.

The main beneficiaries of any unilateral ceasefire will be jihadi terrorists and their sponsors in Pakistan. What Raja Mohan proposes is nothing but a grand version of sending Jaswant Singh down to Kandahar to exchange dangerous terrorists for hostages. Releasing Masood Azhar and Omar Saeed led to he creation of the virulent Jaish-e-Mohammed, an outfit that after killing a lot more people than were on IC-814 continues to pursue its deadly agenda. Releasing the pressure off the jihadi terrorists now will have a similar effect.

Update: The Hindustan Times opines that the unilateral ceasefire was an American suggestion.

In these circumstances it is difficult to take up suggestions being mooted from Washington that India declare a unilateral ceasefire against the militants and thin its forces. While there is a case for, to use Mani Shankar Aiyar’s phrase, “an uninterrupted and uninterruptible” dialogue with Pakistan, there are no good reasons, at this stage, to let up the relentless campaign against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. [HT]