A Pakistani ambush party comprising men from 801 Mujahid Battalion and Jihadi organisations infiltrated into Indian territory in Poonchh and made a surprise attack on a patrol party of 21 Bihar and 14 Maratha Light Infantry in the night of August 5, killing five jawans.
To analyse the Pakistani reasoning we need to have a look at the current situation in the state. That the Indian security forces have eliminated a large number of infiltrators as well as militants active in our territory is no secret. What is not so well known is that the Indian troops have been taking a small, steady toll of Pakistani soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC) through sniping and covert action. While the Pakistan army tends to keep silent lest they be accused of being pusillanimous by their own people, mounting casualties and loss of morale among their troops forced them to act.
The improvement in the situation in the Valley causes concern to Pakistani planners. There has been a huge influx of tourists this season. Local elections have led to grassroots bodies taking over development works in hitherto militant-dominated villages. A peaceful summer in the urban areas has caused consternation in Rawalpindi. The low-key reaction to the unfortunate incident in Ramban where it must be admitted that excessive force was used to disperse a mob has caused sleepless nights in Pakistan.
Lastly, the regular elimination of militants by the security forces cannot but be the result of an increased flow of information from the public. All this is extremely worrying to the Pakistanis leading them to create incidents to keep the pot boiling.
In the national context, the Pakistani action has caused a larger impact in dividing the nation and the polity. We need to guard against this tendency.
The doyen of India's strategists and a war hero
Air Commodore Jasjit Singh was not an armchair warrior by any means. In 1971 he gave up a cushy posting in Air HQ to fight with No. 3 Squadron flying Mystere IVAs in the western theatre. Flying a large number of missions in support of the ground forces he destroyed a significant number of enemy tanks, gun positions and fortifications. His courage and determination in pressing home his attacks in spite of heavy ground opposition earned him the Vir Chakra.
Jasjit Singh's illustrious military family hailing from Chandpur Rurki, Nawanshahr district, created a record with no less than three other relatives winning gallantry awards during the same war.
Elder brother Squadron Leader (later Group Captain) Charanjit Singh flew Canberras with 106 (Strategic Reconnaissance) Squadron earning the Vir Chakra for undertaking a large number of flights over enemy territory and bringing back valuable information on targets and dispositions. Their nephew Major (later Brigadier) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri became a legend for his defence of Longewala post with his 23 Punjab company winning the MVC. Their aunt's son-in-law Major Harpal Singh Grewal of 8 Bihar won a posthumous Vir Chakra in Bangladesh.
Jasjit Singh is best known however for his contribution to the growth of strategic culture in India. Heading the country's prestigious think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses he gave a durable stimulus to academic and intellectual thought processes on defence, strategy and nuclear affairs. In him the country has lost a great warrior as much with the pen as with the sword. RIP
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