Kashmir policy can’t just be about Army flaunting the ‘kills’

Two hundred terrorists had been eliminated, summer posture for counter infiltration was in place,” writes Lt Gen H.S. Panag (Retd) in his new book The Indian Army: Reminiscences, Reforms & Romance, which also talks about his tenure in Kashmir.

But Lt Gen Panag is not a recently retired officer; he was the Northern Army Commander in 2007.This is an indication that the annual ‘kill ratio’ of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, much touted both by the security forces and the government, is not a new phenomenon but has been happening for years. It is the same story every year, no matter who is in power.

It should be understood that counter-terrorism is not the Army’s main job and its heavy deployment in counter-terrorism operations actually leads to a “Kashmir-centric or Pakistan-centric thinking” of tactics and planning, which is harmful.

What is happening at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is actually a blessing in disguise because we, as a country, have suddenly woken up to the real challenge – China.

Tackling this challenge would need a long-term change in the thinking process and the need to not bask in the glory of killing a few hundred terrorists every year.

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