Handwara Attack: Is there more to come?

As on the one hand, India has been honouring the Corona warriors for standing on the frontline against the pandemic, the country has been devasted by the news of terror attack in North Kashmir’s Handwara

A Colonel, a Major and a police officer were among seven Killed in Action in an overnight encounter between security forces and militants in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Sunday.

As rightly pointed by Indian External Affairs Minister, “Today if you look at international relations, I cannot think of any other country in the world which actually uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool against its neighbour. It is actually a unique phenomenon,”

we are not dealing with a normal neighbour. This Pakistan sponsored terror attack in North Kashmir’s Handwara is just another justification for this.

Handwara on map – Less than 50 miles from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’s Muzzafarabad

This sadist approach coming from our neighbour is not new, however, ignorance during the pandemic and repeated pleas by the United Nations and other organisation regarding a global ceasefire adds post-COVID approach by India’s western neighbour.

This attack comes immediately after COAS Narvane’s comment “Pakistan strategy is death by a 1000 cut. Ours will be death by a 1000 and one cuts. That plus advantage will always be with us. They will never succeed.” (In his interview with Nitin Gokhale from Strat News Global).

This may or may not be an indication of Pakistan Army’s way of dealing with the situation and response to his comment. But the important point here is the strategy New Delhi need to come with. The active information channel needs to analysed and enhanced, both offline and online.

As per intelligence and media reports, Pakistan had already started focusing on activating terror groups in North Kashmir, instead of South. And a well-known fact from the valley shows how desperate Islamabad sounds in the summers when ice caps start melting. May 3, is the day when 21 years ago, Pakistan Army soldiers in the disguise of infiltrators Kargil, sparking chances of a full-fledged war between two new nuclear neighbours.

Newspaper snippet – Kargil War

If this is a routine activity from our neighbourhood, then why New Delhi is waiting for even 10 soldiers to get Killed in Action? There could be more attacks, Pakistan will try to push maximum infiltration in the region.

The biggest challenge in front of Armed forces is to prevent any major terror base setup in North Kashmir. On the other hand, it needs to eliminate every single militant in South Kashmir.

What about the Hybrid attacks?

It is always armies which fight the war. Governments make strategies. This has never reached the individual level yet. But in this age of digital media, where ISPR appointed twitter team propagating not only propagandas but widening the already created gap in Indian society between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs. 

The defence approach towards this ISPR propagandas will never let India come up with 1001 cuts. Retaliation is the only way. 

New Delhi needs to keep a multilayered approach and stop playing defensive and targeting pawns. This is what being done since 2014. The neighbour is not into an economic war! New Delhi need to target Queen! King and Pawns will collapse.

Truth is the ISPR has deeply penetrated the virtual governance of India. Even if New Delhi make a new strategy to counter the infiltrators in setting the base camps, the real challenge will be to counter the propaganda which is making it possible to even access brainwashing radical approaches in 2G internet. 

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Akshat Verma

Akshat Verma is an Associate Editor at The Kootneeti. His area of interest includes India-Pakistan-China relations and Indian Foreign Policy. He can be reached at team@thekootneeti.com || Twitter: @akshat_ver

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