A big gun for jihadis in Kashmir

They get an anti-tank weapon

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army began phasing it out in the 1990s. The Pakistani Army still uses it. An 82mm smooth bore breech-loaded, tripod-mounted, recoilless anti-tank gun (likely an S-10 or Type 78/65 recoilless gun) is not exactly a “high-tech gadget” as one reporter claims. But it is a certainly a new entrant into the proxy war in Kashmir. Now, the Indian army is not fielding tanks in the counter-insurgency operations in the state. So the jihadis have been given this weapon to take on the armoured trucks and troop carriers.

The anti-tank gun was part of a large cache of arms and ammunitions seized by the Indian army in Kashmir. It’s arrival might suggest that Pakistan is recalibrating the capital-to-labour ratio of its proxy war against India. Update: Mihir opines that an old anti-tank weapon is a downgrade: “if this anti-tank gun is indeed being introduced by the Jihadis, it might actually signal growing desperation and shortage of material among their ranks.”

9 thoughts on “A big gun for jihadis in Kashmir”

  1. Hi Nitin,

    A little aside – Why doesnt our army actually use tanks in Kashmir then? I mean, why havent they been deployed yet… it might minimize our casualties in case of gunfights. Ok, the terrain makes it difficult to use tanks on the hills, but atleast use it in the cities or on the roads. I see Israeli tanks rolling on the streets when Palestine jehadis indulge in mayhem, why doesnt India be prompt to use them against terrorists ? We also do not use much air force ( chopper gunships or fighters) against terrorists. Any ideas?

  2. Scary stuff all the same. Clearly calls for upping our game in the intelligence arena. Also, your thesis of engaging Gul and co. may yield dramatically better results than tango-ing with the powers that supposedly be.

  3. Shadows, do you think there is a strong case for the use of tanks and air power in Kashmir? If you do, please elaborate before ranting about how “lives are cheap in India”.

    Nitin, as far as I know, the Jihadis have long used the RPG-7 in Kashmir – that weapon is more effective than the 82mm RCL gun, given that it is lighter, smaller (and hence, easier for small groups of men to carry around), has greater range, more explosive power, and is widely available. If this anti-tank gun is indeed being introduced by the Jihadis, it might actually signal growing desperation and shortage of material amongtheir ranks.

  4. Shadow,

    First of all, how do you intend to use tanks against terrorists?

    Second, using heavy weaponry like tanks and gunships against insurgents would give us a very bad name.

  5. >>> First of all, how do you intend to use tanks against terrorists?

    I think you can, to shell their bases. If not tanks, why not chopper gunships (Israel uses them very effectively against terrorists and their hideouts).

    >>>> Second, using heavy weaponry like tanks and gunships against insurgents would give us a very bad name.

    Very bad name amongst whom? The pakistanis? So be it… or the UN? Thats where Indian diplomacy fails miserably, it fails to build up a case for our genuine need to protect ourselves against Islamic terrorism…

  6. Shadows>> I think you can, to shell their bases.

    I hope you realise that you are talking about a full-blown war with Pakistan.

    Shadows>> If not tanks, why not chopper gunships (Israel uses them very effectively against terrorists and their hideouts).

    Israel isn’t India.
    Israel can afford to inflict civilian casualties on the Palestinians and Lebanese. Kashmiris are Indian citizens, and often, innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire.
    Israel is not fighting a CI war on its own territory.
    And no, Israel isn’t all that successful. Whatever successes it does have are not because of the choppers alone. There is more to it.
    And your knowledge about CI and the ground reality in Kashmir is woefully inadequate.

    Very bad name amongst whom? The pakistanis? So be it… or the UN?

    The Kashmiris. It is kinda hard to explain “National Interest” to a person whose father/brother/son was killed in an Indian attack when it could have been avoided.

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