The attack on the officer’s mess near the Army’s biggest formation 16 Corps by three fidayeen militants last week has once again exposed the vulnerability of the army installations in Jammu and Kashmir to the militant attacks. Before three militants were neutralized, they killed seven soldiers including two officers. This attack came barely two months after four fidayeen militants after crossing the LoC attacked on the camp inside the brigade headquarters in Uri that left 20 soldiers dead. The daring attack saw escalation in the diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan. While India accused the hand of Pakistani establishment in these attacks but Pakistan denied it. However, the incidents like Uri, Nagrota or Pathankote always has been a deep thorn in the good relations between India and Pakistan. Even the significant achievements on the political and diplomatic front also vanished to a major terror strike in 2008 killing over hundred civilians in Taj hotel Mumbai. This time in a response to Uri attack the claims of Army’s surgical strike on the Line of Control didn’t deter militants from striking another army installation and exposed the security lapses. It points out the serious questions how militants managed to breach security parameters despite high alert. These type of incidents are responsible for worsening of the situation and increase in the hostilities on LoC and the international border. The recent Nagrota attack suggests that militants potentially can attack the security installations anywhere at their will. And the army should also upgrade security apparatus around its installations especially in Jammu which otherwise was peaceful. Also time has come when leadership of India and Pakistan should seriously ponder over the grim situation in the subcontinent as any more incidents like Nagrota in India could trigger a war between the two neighbours whose armies are equipped with deadly nuclear arsenal and war could lead to death and destruction in the entire sub continent without leading to the path of resolving the prevailing disputes between the two neighbours. Instead India and Pakistan should use diplomatic options to diffuse tension and through negotiations only situation in Kashmir that has been on boil could also be controlled. On the other hand Pakistani establishment should also rein in those militant groups who are always looking for an opportunity to spoil relationship between India and Pakistan by attacking big army installations in Jammu and Kashmir. They have always been hindrance for the positive relations between the two countries that Pakistan itself has admitted in past. And if the hostilities will go on like this then not only the economies of the two neighbouring countries will have to face the serious consequences but armies of both India and Pakistan will suffer casualties since the ‘surgical strikes’ the soldiers from both sides are dying and ceasefire on the LoC is just on papers with daily killings. Even civilians living on both parts of Kashmir are not spared of these hostilities and bear the major burnt. If the situation is not arrested especially this is going to be dangerous situation and coming days could see more radicalised militancy and tension on LoC and borders.
The editorial appeared in print edition of 7-13 December.