Kathua ambush: India needs to review military, diplomatic options - The Tribune India

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Kathua ambush

India needs to review military, diplomatic options

Kathua ambush


THE killing of five Army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, in an ambush by heavily armed terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district has compounded the internal security challenge for the Narendra Modi government, barely a month after it assumed office for the third time. This is the latest in a series of terror incidents, beginning with the attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi district on June 9 — the very day the new government was installed in Delhi.

The situation is deteriorating despite PM Modi’s go-ahead to officials to deploy the ‘full spectrum of counter-terror capabilities’. Pakistan-based terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba have stepped up activities in the Jammu region through their local agents and recruits. The government, which is gearing up to conduct the long-delayed Assembly elections in J&K by September, has its work cut out.

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane has vowed that the sacrifice of soldiers will not go unavenged and India will defeat the evil forces behind the Kathua attack. The onus is on India to review its military and diplomatic options. The naming and shaming of Pakistan on international forums has not been of much help as Islamabad has continued to play the victim card, claiming that it is more sinned against than sinning as far as terrorism is concerned. Dependent on its allies for the first time in a decade, the ruling BJP may find it tough to adopt a typically muscular approach. During the Modi government’s first term, cross-border ‘surgical strikes’ were carried out in the wake of the September 2016 Uri terror attack, while the Balakot airstrikes were conducted in retaliation for the February 2019 Pulwama suicide bombing. It’s an ‘enough is enough’ scenario all over again, but Modi 3.0 might have to restrict itself to efforts to restore peace in J&K without crossing any red line.

#Jammu #Kashmir #Kathua #Narendra Modi


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