June 7, 2007Security

Test of the melting snows

An increase in infiltration, and the threat of more violence in Jammu & Kashmir

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The test of the melting snows offers the best estimate of the scene in Jammu & Kashmir. This year, despite all the progress that was supposed to have been made on this front, it’s not looking good.

The Hurriyat’s Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had declared that violence had run its course, and the time had come for it to end. That was at the peak of winter, when the border passes were frozen and impassable. Now the Moderate Mirwaiz has turned aggressive—going to the point of threatening an escalation in violence if the Kashmir issue’ was not resolved by the end of the year.

It turns out that the Mirwaiz’s boldness has got a lot to do with what’s coming across from Pakistan.

The Army’s latest intelligence assessment puts the number of infiltrations in April at 790—a three-fold increase from 2006 when only 27 terrorists managed to cross over in April. The sudden spurt comes as a surprise as things had been extraordinarily peaceful during the first three months of the year with just 17 terrorists managing to infiltrate into the country. The latest assessment shows that infiltration is on a three-year high with 96 terrorists crossing over till April this year against 75 in 2006 and 37 in 2005. [IE]

Embattled as he is, Musharraf has again offered to pull back Pakistani troops from the Line of Control, in return for India conceding to his long-standing demand—demilitarisation. With the Mirwaiz’s position on violence changing as fast as the weather, and the replenishment of terrorist numbers, the case for demilitarisation begins to look more unattractive.

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