This was a meeting of the core group and the idea was that each and every security agency should be on one grid so that everyone knows as to what has to be done in the way of complimenting each other!
‘Security has many connotations and one of them is, Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You still have a long way to go, so you have to take the opportunity to revolutionize your thinking and move into an entirely new realm of experience. Security forces are doing a wonderful job in the valley but a review of the scenario is a must because things are unpredictable as far as insurgencies go and Kashmir is no different. Security is a precarious and uncertain thing until all of the agencies work in cohesion and incorporate the various nitty-gritty’s while operating round the clock to keep the nefarious and at times noxious elements at bay. So far the job is being wonderfully done and it has to be kept up instead of loosening up the guard’!
Before I start with this one let me tell you about one thing that a Chinese war philosopher wrote. ‘The Art of war’ is a big compendium and some of the sayings in it really ought to be remembered. The one that can be used as a template in Kashmir scenario is:
‘If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected’
The terrorists were once upon a time tearing apart the valley. They were blowing candles of the innocents to make theirs shine brighter till they met their match in the security forces. From there on it was one way traffic and there was no reprieve for the men who thought they could do anything with their rifles, grenades and suicide missions (the terrorists). They were dealt with a sledge hammer blow and the rest is history now. The security scenario has improved many fold and it is all because of the cohesiveness shown by the security forces by some supreme skills in the art of fighting and a magnificent display of courage and bravery. They have done extremely well to encourage the young boys to pursue their dreams and aims of which picking up the gun should not be an option. The kids off the blocks are realizing this and the enthusiasm being shown is absolutely in superlatives. This has not come in a day, it has been a long half where sacrifices were made by the security forces personnel since they were fighting for the Kashmiris in order to mangle the evil designs of the enemy across the LOC who ensured that at least two generations were lost in wilderness. Things are quiet now and that is a very good omen and I do not have to say that this turnaround has come because of whom.
I The core group meeting:
This was a big meet in which the 2 top brass of the various security agencies were present along with the representatives of the civil administration. It was held at Headquarters 15 Corps in badami Bagh cantonment and this was what happened there:
Core Group consisting of top officials of Civil Administration, Intelligence Agencies, Security Forces and Divisional Commissioner at Srinagar met at Badami Bagh Cantonment to review the security situation in Kashmir.
The meeting was co-chaired by the General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General of Police Jammu & Kashmir, Dilbag Singh.
The core group discussed the satisfactory handling of COVID-19 in Kashmir. It was well appreciated that National and State civil departments along with the security forces worked as a joint team and kept the pandemic under control when compared to the other parts of India during the peak of the second wave. A brief stock of preparedness for the likely third wave was taken.
The officials shared inputs about the Line of Control and hinterland security situation. The officials stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of terrorist launch pads and terrorist training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control.
There are indications of heightened activity in the last two months. The cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons continues to be focus of the intelligence agencies and security forces. This included continued vigil and checks on all passes leading to Kashmir valley.
Review of violence indicators of the first six months of the year show an improvement in all security parameters. There is a joint security forces effort at targeting the OGW network that sustains terrorism and focused efforts by the police have led to apprehension of nearly 400 such persons.
Local recruitment, though lower than previous years, continues to be the focus area of the security and intelligence agencies.
The effort is to engage with the vulnerable youth and target the OGW network engaged in the recruitment process. The recruitment is higher in some pockets where synergized counter actions are being executed.
The officials shared continued focus on vehicles of dubious antecedents as they are used for transportation of arms and contraband, and also can be used for Vehicle Based IEDs.
The efforts of some tanzeems to use a variety of IEDs are being proactively countered. Reports of encroachments along the national highway are being checked as these can cause security threats to the convoy movement on the highways.
The officials discussed the issue of criminal acts being done under the garb of a terrorist attack and the need to differentiate between a terror attack and criminal attack. The shift of terrorists’ modus operandi in targeting soft targets and counter measures were also discussed.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir shared details of development activities underway and the efforts to energize and operationalize the grassroot democratic structure. He shared the plans for youth engagement which included the plans to set up youth centers in all districts, down to panchayat level.
The officials deliberated on the propaganda effort by Pakistan and their antagonistic information warfare tactics. Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimate the killing of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort.
The DGP and Corps Commander, commended the officials present for the improved security indicators. A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite risk to own soldiers.
They called upon all to continue efforts at better intelligence, better preventive security measures and effective intelligence based counter terror operations. They called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long term peace in Kashmir.
Indeed it was a complete package of various concrete activities happening on the security front. I did earlier mention that the meeting was basically to comprehensively be on one grid since anything can happen at any moment. Though the ceasefire is persisting yet the fact is Pakistan has not dismantled the terror camps across and is pumping in drugs to make the defunct and dependent upon the drowsy and stupor giving doses that can wreck the young generation. The idea is to propel this generation on to a different horizon and it is happening that way and it is a good prospect for the future of Kashmir. So much distance has been travelled but definitely there are miles to go still.
Accomplishments and attaining new horizons have become a tradition of our security forces but they know that there is much more to do and make the people of Kashmir further safe. They have managed to wash away fear from the psyche of Kashmiris and to an extent established the factor called trust. Although there are still that rogue element yet with time they too will come on to the road which at the moment are reluctant to take. I mean the road to salvation!