The reaction from the other side

Post-surgical matters

Last night, militants attacked a Border Security Force-Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla, killing one trooper and injuring another. Coming a few days after India announced that it had carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control, the attack on Baramulla will be seen through the prism of ‘retaliation’ from the Pakistani side.

There are two broad ways of looking at this attack: First, the jihadi components of the Pakistani military-jihadi complex (MJC) are retaliating after last week’s strike by the Indian Army.

Second, that this is part of a larger campaign by the MJC to use militants to target Indian military/security installations along the Indian-Pakistan frontier: Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Uri and now Baramulla, fit the pattern. The intention of such discriminating attacks could be to unsettle the Indian government as it attempts to manage the political turmoil in the Kashmir valley. It could also be to provoke the Indian armed forces to an extent to make the 2004 ceasefire defunct, to undermine political overtures like the one Narendra Modi engaged in late last year and to escalate the conflict to a level that will re-attract international attraction.

Given the timeline, the latter explanation is more likely: it does not exclude the first explanation that this is Pakistani retaliation, but rather, that this Pakistani retaliation is part of its overall strategy. However, if in the days to come, the number, scale and scope of jihadi attacks on Indian targets intensify then we can conclude that the MJC is escalating the conflict using jihadis (rather than the military) as instruments.

Terrorists attack Jammu

Infiltration, cross-border firing, hostage-taking, killing…the same old stuff

Terrorists have escalated the crisis in Jammu & Kashmir:

Three people, inclhuding an army officer, were killed and at least five others injured in Jammu on Wednesday by militants who had infiltrated into the Indian territory from across the border under the cover of firing from the Pakistani side.

The three militants, who had sneaked into Jammu through Kanachak border on Tuesday, are currently holed up in a house at Chinore, official sources said, adding that the area has been cordoned off by the security forces.

One woman and three children are being held hostage by the militants, they said. [IE]

There can be no doubt about the intent—to deepen the differences between “Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri on the one hand, and Muslim and non-Muslim on the other.”

This should nail the canard that the separatists had become “peaceful protesters”. It will be interesting to see if the leading lights of the Kashmiri separatist firmament denounce this act of violence. Don’t hold your breath, because “on August 22, Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik and (Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed) Saeed had agreed to cooperate on the Kashmir issue.”

Update: Look who’s been using satellite phones to address jihadi conferences in Pakistan—the ‘moderate’ Mirwaiz, and Shabbir Shah.