Even in the midst of a most serious killer pandemic, which has forced over 167 countries to lockdown, Pakistan, or rather its deep State, the Inter-Services Intelligence, continues to export terror to Kashmir. Instead of lending a helping hand to the decrepit Imran Khan Government in fighting the coronavirus, which has infected a large number of people, especially after Khan under pressure from the religious extremists allowed to congregate freely five times a day in mosques during the month of Ramazan, the ISI has single-mindedly tried to create mayhem in Kashmir.
In other words, even the holy month of Ramazan does not prevent the self-avowedly Islamic Pakistan to indulge in most unholy acts. Though terrorist activity had again resurfaced a few months ago, especially after a lull during the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir following the change in its constitutional status, militant attacks are once again becoming a regular feature of life in the Valley. In one of the most gruesome incidents in recent months, five security personnel, including a decorated Colonel and a Major and a sub-inspector of police were killed last Saturday in an 18-hour operation in north Kashmir in Handwara. Two militants were killed in the exchange of fire with the security forces, one of them was a Pakistani citizen and ‘a wanted militant Lashkar-e-Taiba commander’. On Saturday after receiving information that the terrorists had held a number of civilians hostage, the security forces undertook a rescue mission. On entering the target area, a joint team of the army and J and K Police managed to free the trapped civilians, but it came under heavy fire from the terrorists hiding inside the house. The five service personnel died in the attack but not before eliminating the two terrorists. This is the first time that a commanding officer had lost his life in a terrorist operation. Last time a commanding officer of the rank of a brigadier had been killed in an IED attack in 2000. Earlier, in the first week of April five elite Special Forces commandos were killed in a gun battle which had lasted several days near the LOC in Kupwara district. Five militants were killed in that operation.
It is amply clear that despite the precarious state of its finances, despite internal turmoil, a sinking economy, unrest in its border regions with Afghanistan, and an amateurish prime minister who is totally clueless about governance, the ISI feels no constraints when it comes to exporting terror to Kashmir. If ISI continues on this path, a time may come when India feels obliged to take the fight into its territory. India’s tolerance has its limits.