With security forces achieving considerable success in anti-terror operations in Kashmir by eliminating top commanders who were targeting security forces and civilians, terrorists and their sympathizers are feeling the heat. From the security point of view, 2018 was a best year for the security forces as more than 250 terrorists were killed, 54 arrested and four surrendered.
The Indian Army has also given befittingly reply to Pakistani aggression along the Line of Control (LoC) in the state. And when Indian Air Force carried strikes against Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps deep inside Pakistani territory last month, it was an enough indication to terrorists and their Pakistani handlers that India no more was willing to tolerate terror activities on its soil.
Given the strong demand by citizens all across the country to avenge the cowardly Pulwama terror attack in which over 40 CRPF jawans were martyrred, the Prime Minister kept his word and the IAF carried out these air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad camps. There was a wave of happiness that engulfed the nation with people celebrating India’s #SurgicalStrikePartTwo in ways most dear to them.
Though for time being a strong reply has been given to the terrorists, there is need to develop a solid counter-terrorism policy which is well understood and supported by all stakeholders including all Indian states and international polity. Regular crackdown on corruption and black money to remove funding and support for terrorists is another aspect which needs to be addressed. Empowering the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with more and better staff and resources, empowering the National Security Guard (NSG) and modernize it along with ensuring its critical coordination with intelligence agencies and modernizing the Army, Navy, Air Force and security services is a must for keeping terrorists and enemies of the nation at bay.
The good news is that the present dispensation is already working on many of these points though the hiccups are expected when trying to battle 21st century terrorism with 19th century institutions. Addressing terrorism starts with reducing cash and increasing good governance, both of which are currently on the top priority list of our Union government’s agenda.
Last, but not the least, terrorism cannot be eradicated without the full involvement of the local community and their participation in anti-terror activities. They should be persuaded and motivated to shed the role of mute bystanders or victims. Wherever possible, they should be legally equipped with the requisite infrastructure and weaponry to counter terrorist activities. And for this to happen, a corruption-free environment where people have absolute faith in the government, as well as easy access to justice, is more important than anything else. This is what the Union government is striving to establish right now. We hope when it comes to anti-terror activities, politicians across the aisle will join hands for the betterment of of our nation, rather than making hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations against the security apparatus, which would only demoralize it.