Pathankot Attack: Can India afford to be lenient against terrorism?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Abhishek Barui, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The year 2016 started with yet another terrorist attack on Indian soil, and this time on a heavily guarded and strategically important location. The Air Force Station in Pathankot was attacked in the early hours of January the 2nd, resulting in the death of 7 brave soldiers. The United Jihad Council claimed the responsibility of the attack. The attack was seen as an attempt to disrupt the Indo-Pakistan peace process and was followed by the usual press releases. But can India afford to keep quiet this time around?

This was one in a series of highly coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by the Pakistan backed Islamic Terrorist Outfits targeting the important locations in India. The Governments, past and present, have always promised stern retaliation against these organizations but has always limited itself to only bureaucratic discussions with Pakistan, asking them to take appropriate actions against the masterminds of these attacks. These measures have not yet bore the fruits that India expects. Pakistan, under immense international pressure, has continued to back these outfits to carry out the attacks. Multiple terrorist camps operate in the Pakistan occupied part of Kashmir with support from ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency.

It is high time for India take serious actions against these terrorist organizations. Though a full-fledged war with Pakistan is not an option, surgical strikes must be carried out in PoK to destroy the terrorist training camps. The security forces in the border must be increased in the border to try and seal it off, as most of these terrorists enter Indian soil after crossing the 3323 km long Indo-Pak border. The Government must also create more pressure on Pakistan to detain the leaders of these extremist organisations.

Only through some of these firm measures can India expect to stop these frequent attacks and make its citizens feel secure.

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