Five months before the Keran encounter, which the army chief said could be pointer to the situation after the US pullout from Afghanistan in 2014, chief minister Omar Abdullah had said the pullout would not have a significant impact on Jammu and Kashmir.
Eight infiltrators were killed and 80 weapons were recovered by the army in 15-day operation.
Speaking at foreign correspondents club at Delhi in May, on being asked about the impact of pullout of international security forces from Afghanistan in 2014, Omar had said, “I am perhaps in minority here, but I don’t feel that there will be any significant impact in J&K with the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan.”
Omar had given reasons for his understanding but his views were not shared by the army and it has become clear now.
The day operation ended, army chief General Bikram Singh, on being asked that how this infiltration bid was different from the others, told a news channel though the situation has to be watched as what happens in Afghanistan after 2014 but a large number of terrorists have come into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Gen Singh said, “I had said even in January that we need to wait and watch, at least till 2014 and depending on what happens in Afghanistan. There are reports alluding to a large number of terrorists having come into this area, in PoK. And this definitely is a quite emboldened kind of a stance of the terrorists.”
The army chief had made his observation about the situation turning out in Afghanistan in January but even five months latter it was not agreed upon by the chief minister.
The army chief who had also commanded Srinagar based 15-Corps and had also been injured in a terrorist attack in Anantnag in 2001, where he was posted as Brigadier, apparently has a deep sense of security situation and game-plan of Pakistan.
It’s not only the army chief, but also former commander of 15 Corps, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retd), who in an article published in national daily, had said such kind of infiltration bids were aimed at 2014-15 when international troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
Gen Hasnain, who was widely believed as one of the finest corps commander, had said Pakistan wants to keep the pot boiling till jihadists (terrorists) can turn their attention once again to the Valley after 2014.
Strategic differences could also be the reason that Omar Abdullah has not been able to have its way of even partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The chief minister had on November 2011 said the AFSPA would be revoked from Jammu, Budgam, Samba and Srinagar districts before the Durbar move, which takes place in first week of November.
“I don’t expect any dramatic reversal in the situation or sudden spurt in militancy in terms of what happens in Afghanistan in 2014,” Omar had said at foreign correspondents club.