Terrorist attack on army camp at Uri calls for long term approach


Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, September 18: The terrorist attack  by four heavily armed terrorists on army camp in Uri early in the morning poses a serious challenge in the context of continued turbulence in the Kashmir valley where 87 people including children have been killed so far during the last two months. There are others who have been blinded or partially blinded due to pellet injuries. The valley continues to be under the longest ever curfew.

The person who takes up the gun knows that he would be killed by the same bullet. The four terrorists who infiltrated  the  high security area might have come fully prepared to die as that is normal under such situations. Seventeen army men were killed in the attack, the highest ever number in single action during the last 27 years.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh logged onto Twitter. Here are his tweets:

“Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such.”

There is nothing new in this statement. Pakistan was a terrorist state even when Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to land at Lahore while returning from Afghanistan to have a cup of tea with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

It is the same Indian media and Modi’s colleagues who had hailed that adventure which was perceived as beginning of a new chapter between India and Pakistan. The two countries have been to war thrice since 1947 when the partition of India saw the creation of Pakistan. Raja hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir signed the accession treaty with India months later after the partition. Over the years, the situation in Kashmir has only deteriorated. Kashmiris had revolted against the Dogra ruler years earlier for being discriminated against.

Here other tweets from Rajnath Singh:

“I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups.”

“There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators of Uri attack were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.”

Modi needs to  tell people of the country as to what went wrong after his Lahore bonhomie. One can’t go in just taking credit. During his election campaign, he used to attack a “weak” prime minister-Dr Manmohan Singh- for soft-pedaling the Pakistan policy.  At the hindsight, he might have succeeded in ending the confrontation in case the Congress had the majority in Lok Sabha. Modi replaced him with a thumping majority and such a mandate should have produced different results.

The immediate issue is that of restoring peace in the valley as one can’t talk of normalisation under such a tense situation.

The all party delegation comprising members of Parliament that visited Kashmir recently was boycotted by the people at large. However, the members of the delegation did not try for any new approach  as they wanted to have interaction with the same set of people. There have been a number of such fruitless discussions earlier. The UPA government appointed interlocutors had discussions with almost every section of Kashmiri people over months and produced exhaustice report but the end result was zero. This perhaps is the reason that the Kashmiris did not evince any interest in talks this time.

However, the delegation should have adopted a different strategy-more humane than being political. Some members of the delegation should have talked to the kids who have been blinded due to pellets fired by the security forces. They could have talked to their parents. They could have talked to the young ones partially blinded. They should have visited hospitals. They would have thus realised the gravity of anger and its genesis.

Let the delegation make a fresh beginning with a small number making another attempt to reach out to these kids. Even Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not taken the risk of facing anger of their parents. However, some beginning has to be made somewhere. For years, the valley has been anti-India.

The delegation should also talk to the Kashmiri Pandits who have been displaced from their homes where they have been living for centuries. They too are Kashmiris and stakeholders. They too are the victims. They need to be rehabilitated back to their ancestral homes.

No other region in the world is so heavily garrisoned. The army still lost 17 men in a single attack by terrorists.

Let beginning be made at the level of counting of the dead to end these deaths. It might offend some. The same list should include those killed by the security forces and the members of the security forces getting killed. They should not be listed separately. After all, all are Indians and every death is loss of India.


Jagtar Singh


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