The terror attack in Uri is part of a well calibrated game plan designed by Pakistan to escalate the threshold of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Fidayeen (Suicide) squads of terrorists have been launched across the state to express support for those who are causing social disruption in some parts of the Kashmir valley.
The second objective is to demonstrate to the disrupters the vulnerability of the security forces so that they shed their fear and stay motivated to continue with their anti-national activities.
The timing has been well thought out!! It has been coordinated to step up the pace of unrest in the valley at the precise moment when it was scaling down.
It is unfortunate that the Uri attack has resulted in so many casualties, but then, in a situation of war, a determined enemy cannot be contained at all times; there are bound to be setbacks. India has to exhibit resilience to absorb such shocks, however sad and disheartening they may be.
A significant aspect is that Pakistan had credible intelligence on the basis of which the attack was launched. It knew the timing when the changeover of troops would be taking place and there would be a larger than normal strength at the Army base at Uri.
It was known to the enemy that the troops would be in tented accommodation for which reason incendiary rocket propelled grenades were a part of the arsenal carried by the terrorists.
The criticality of creating a more robust intelligence network in the Kashmir Valley with the specific intention of neutralising the Over Ground Workers (OGW) network of the terrorists gains significance.
The timing of the attack and the professional manner in which it was carried out is indicative of professional military planning and training. This derivative puts paid to all assertions that Pakistan is likely to make of this attack also being the handiwork of non-state actors.
For the people of Kashmir the attack should be a strong indication of what lies in store for them should the protective shield of the Indian Army be removed as a few of them keep demanding.
Let there be no doubt that Pakistan will make mincemeat out of the Kashmiri people if there is even the slightest reduction in the security threshold, let alone withdrawal of the Army as suggested by some.
Under the circumstance it would be prudent to simply forget about revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) any time in the near future.
All right thinking people in Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Kashmir valley, need to remain stead fast with their security forces that are facing the evil challenge of terrorism emanating from Pakistan with exceptional resilience, courage, fortitude and patience apart from taking so many casualties.
Those who have seen the dreadful days when terrorism was at its peak and have suffered in the hands of foreign terrorist should come in the forefront to meet this challenge, shoulder to shoulder, with the security forces as they did earlier to defeat the scourge in the state.
It is quite apparent that the policy of appeasement that has been followed by successive Indian Governments with the hope that Pakistan would relent from its evil designs has not paid any dividend. The time has come for the Indian state to evolve a policy that is pragmatic and in tune with the existing realities.
India needs to call Pakistan’s bluff and take credible steps at the diplomatic and operational level to make the cost of such misadventures unacceptable for the country. This would require a strong political will and taking of some bold decisions that are in tune with the might of the nation and the aspirations of its people.
There is a need to keep security alertness at its peak considering reports of one more Fidayeen squad being on the loose.
Simultaneously, the state government will need to generate the will to control the daily sessions of stone pelting, unrest and disruption in the hands of paid miscreants. More than required leverage has been given to the so-called young boys and now is the time to rein them in.
It would not be out of place for the Indian army to take credible steps to punish Pakistan intransigence by Artillery and missile fire across the line of control. Flattening of a few Pakistani posts would be quite in order and absolutely justifiable under the circumstances.
Considering that Pakistan is not ready to take the hand of friendship that India has consistently extended over so many decades and through so many governments, it is time now to change the diplomatic narrative.
Diplomatic relations with the country should be cut off as a first measure followed y complete stop of trade and transit. Most importantly, the bus and trade route open to Pakistan through two points in Jammu and Kashmir should be stopped; it gets in more contraband and drugs than people or goodwill.
In simple terms, India needs to have nothing to do with a neighbour as obtuse and malevolent as Pakistan has proved to be.
As the debate in the after math of the attack in Uri rages across the nation with a sense of outrage overwhelming all other emotions, the need to action by the government is gaining weight by the hour. There is no leverage available for a graduated response; the government has to come up with a counter policy soon in case it wishes to retain its credibility.
Till such time that firm action is not taken Pakistan is not likely to cease its obduracy. It will continue to follow a policy of proxy war against India. The Government has to respond to the consistent belligerence emanating from Pakistan to fulfil its responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of the country which also includes its security forces.
(Jaibans Singh is a defence analyst and author)