TERRORISM: Is There A Strategy?

This Post was in reply to a question on Quora written in September 2018. 

“With recently BSF Jawan’s body mutilated by Pak’s Military/Para Military, what should be Indian Govt. strategy wrt. continuous Peace talk invites by Imran Khan?”

Regrettably the recent incident involving the deaths of 40 Jawans of CRPF only goes to confirm the fact that India is yet to evolve a Policy or Mechanisms to contain state sponsored terrorism emanating from Pakistan.


The present situation is just a repeat of a dozen past events in the history of India Pakistan relationship.

First of all it is to be clearly understood as to what is ‘strategy ‘.

Strategy is a projection in long periods , of time, space and resources to achieve selected goals. Grand strategies are deeper and foresee conditions post achievement of goals and subsequent plans for activities and actions, to address the newly developing or developed situations.

Indian strategy insofar as The borders with Pakistan is concerned, should be to ensure its sanctity, by all possibile means from clear demarcation, assessment of forces and their types to be deployed, avail of diplomatic means to defuse awkward situations, contain adverse propaganda, calculations of deterrent forces and methods with abilities to match anything from minor incursions to major acts of aggression and psychological warfare. A great deal of strategic planning will depend upon patterns of past behaviour, present conditions and estimated future developments.

Certain facts are well known to us. Pakistan is a pseudo democracy, with the real power being with its army. Pakistani army dominates all major activities in Pakistan, including formation of governments, economic policies, foreign relations and security. Pakistani army ensures its dominance through its ability to project itself as the sole organisation that has unquestionable integrity (among corrupt politicians and beauracracy) capable of securing the country, It has perfected the art of keeping tensions on Indian and Afghanistan borders permanently live, to ensure that Pakistani populace is constantly in a state of subsurface panic and is willing to accept Pakistani army as a protector of the country.

This state of continuous tension on the borders in east and west is orchestrated through its terrorist ancillaries like JeM and Taliban. It also resorts to direct and open aggression from time to time. Any overtures for peace by civilian government as tried by Nawaz Shaif or Imran Khan is stymied by the army through its terrorist ancillaries. Killings on the LOC are carried out regularly by Pakistani army. *

Pattern is clearEfforts at talks are invariably followed by incursions and atrocities by Pakistani army and its ancillaries, ie terrorist organisations sponsored by Pakisyarmy and isi.Hulla Gulla in Indian media and withdrawal from ‘talks’.

This happens regularly. It could be that that India has NOT put in place a consistent strategy to deal with cross border terrorism.


Work on the predictable pattern to isolate Pakistan in international arena. Modi government appears to have succeeded in isolation of Pakistan to a great extent. America its staunch supporter over six decades is is less flexible than before. Indian equation with Arab states has improved considerably, and their blind support is not available to Pakistan any more.

*Ceasefire violations” by Pakistan along its border with India have increased nine times from 2011 to 2014, according to data tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The ceasefire agreement it refers to was signed 12 years ago.

As many as 1,106 violations were reported in the four-year period; 199 were reported till June 30, 2015.

Pakistani Ceasefire Violations Along India-Pakistan Border (According To India)

Year Ceasefire Violations Ceasefire Violations Along LoC Ceasefire Violations Along International Border

2011. 62 51 11

2012 11. 93 21

2013 341 199 148

2014 583 153 430

2015* 199. NA NA

Source: Rajya Sabha, 12 and 3; *Up to June 30, 2015

Excexerpts from Prakash K Dutta

“Number of terror attacks, ceasefire violations and deaths due to these incidents has been rising since 2015 consistently. The number of ceasefire violations was 152 in 2015, when PM Mod attended his counterpart Sharif’s family function on his way back from Afghanistan visit. It rose to 228 in 2016 and 860 in 2017.

  • There has been a sharp increase in the number of reported terror recruitments by the Pakistan-based terror groups in the Kashmir Valley – 64 in 2015, 87 in 2016 (when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed) and 126 in 2017.
  • An estimated 360 terrorists are active in the Kashmir Valley with more than 200 coming from the local population and the rest from Pakistan.
  • In 2018, there have already been 240 incidents of ceasefire violations. Terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen are said to be more active in the past one and a half year. Several smaller groups have also received considerable support from Pakistan.

The trend suggests that the terror incidents and ceasefire violations have largely remained unaffected by the peace initiatives taken by India. The real factor is Pakistani establishment’s policy towards sponsoring terrorism in the Kashmir Valley.”


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