Rajouri attack and the Pakistan hand - Hindustan Times
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Rajouri attack and the Pakistan hand

ByHT Editorial
Nov 23, 2023 10:27 PM IST

The surge in terror in the Rajouri-Poonch area calls for a closer study and concerted action by the security establishment.

The terror attack in Rajouri on Wednesday in which five Army personnel including two officers were killed is a chilling reminder of Pakistan-backed terrorists gaining a foothold in the Jammu region. The incident fits a pattern of all major terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years: These have taken place in the Rajouri-Poonch-Reasi belt situated to the south of the Pir Panjal mountain range that separates Jammu from the Kashmir Valley. A cause of alarm is that terrorists have managed to inflict casualties on the Army which has lost 14 personnel in five major terror incidents this year alone. This includes two back-to-back ambushes on April 20 and May 5 that claimed the lives of 10 soldiers. The 46 deaths reported in a string of terror-related incidents from Rajouri and Poonch since January this year underscores yet again the new security challenge beyond the Valley where, in contrast, terrorist strikes have seen a dip in the last two years or so.

Security personnel at the site of the encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday. (ANI) PREMIUM
Security personnel at the site of the encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday. (ANI)

The terror attack in Rajouri on Wednesday in which five Army personnel including two officers were killed is a chilling reminder of Pakistan-backed terrorists gaining a foothold in the Jammu region. The incident fits a pattern of all major terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years: These have taken place in the Rajouri-Poonch-Reasi belt situated to the south of the Pir Panjal mountain range that separates Jammu from the Kashmir Valley. A cause of alarm is that terrorists have managed to inflict casualties on the Army which has lost 14 personnel in five major terror incidents this year alone. This includes two back-to-back ambushes on April 20 and May 5 that claimed the lives of 10 soldiers. The 46 deaths reported in a string of terror-related incidents from Rajouri and Poonch since January this year underscores yet again the new security challenge beyond the Valley where, in contrast, terrorist strikes have seen a dip in the last two years or so.

The Rajouri-Poonch axis is contiguous with South Kashmir, a long-time hub of militancy, and the Line of Control with Pakistan. With an effective counter-terrorist security grid in place in Kashmir, terrorist outfits, notably Lashkar and Jaish, which have foreigners in their ranks, seem to have shifted to the Jammu side of the Pir Panjal. The vast and sparsely populated forested terrain, with limited road connectivity, makes it a safe hideout for terrorists and a tough place for security operations. The recurring instances of the LoC ceasefire violations — a cover to push terrorists, arms and ammunition — are seen as an attempt on the part of Pakistani handlers to make the communally sensitive Jammu region a new ground for their proxies. The surge in terror in the Rajouri-Poonch area calls for a closer study and concerted action by the security establishment.

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