The need for perpetual policy on counterterrorism

Dr Suman Kumar Kasturi  |  Updated On:  22 Feb 2019 5:30 AM

At this moment, there is no doubt that the blood of every true Indian is boiling after the recent terrorist attack. On February 14, a convoy of vehicles carrying CRPF personnel was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on the National Highway. As many as 46 CRPF personnel were killed in this attack. Besides, many people sustained severe injuries. Beginning with the 2016 terrorist attack on Pathankot Air Base, which took place on January 02, 2016, India has lost as many as 169 soldiers in the terrorist attacks alone.

Whenever an untoward terrorist attack takes place, right from the political parties to the media agencies, everyone expresses a great matter of concern. However, it is a matter of jiffy affair. A number of military, police, and intelligence organisations within the country contribute to the exertions of counterterrorism in India. Such organisations include special security forces, police forces of respective states, and paramilitary forces.

The armed forces usually play a part in counterterrorism operations as the last resort. However, in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army has been involved in an unswerving role. Dating back to India’s independence and separation of Pakistan from India in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir, the northern tip of India’s territory, has been the hub of a territorial dispute. The history reveals the fact that the disagreement between India and Pakistan has resulted in a number of military confrontations. Palpably, beginning from the late 1980s, the region has been the home to a number of militant groups looking for the liberation for the region.

Taking the statistics of the last fifteen years or so into account, this unending fight has given rise to two-thirds of entire deaths from the terrorist attacks in India. According to many defence analysts, the government’s reaction to terrorist attacks has been episodic. It has been the case that the government seems to take temporary measures soon after a terroristic attack and forgets the issue, soon after.

There is no second opinion that India lacks a comprehensible strategic response to terrorism — there is a need to have an all-inclusive code to counterterrorism for the reason that most of our reactions are imprudent. For example, Operation Parakram, which was carried out in the wake of December 13, 2001, Parliament attack was concluded on October 16, 2002, without any major achievements.

Yes, it is high time that India should have a perpetual policy to overcome the terrorist attacks. If we clearly look into the matter, India does not have any antiterrorism legislation similar to that of the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (USA Patriot Act 2001). This act even takes into account potential money laundering and financing of terrorism — and seems to be all-inclusive in nature. India, in 2002, passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), which replaced the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) of 2001, and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). This Act extended the government’s powers in combating terrorism.

However, within a short term, certain measures such as the power to detain terror suspects in custody without bringing them to trial, met with oppositions, resulting in the repealing of the Act. This point clearly indicates the political influences in the vital decision-making process in India. Attack after attack is being taken place in India, resulting in the fatalities of many soldiers.

The nation as a whole condemns such monstrous attacks. However, in actuality, the loss is experienced all the way through only by the families of martyrs. There will be no meaning to the sacrifices of the soldiers and their families if we don’t win over the terrorism. It looks as if the authorities are simply icing an injury without taking any serious action to curb terrorism, permanently. There is a great need that the sovereign authorities should grasp the hostile effect of the recent rise in terrorism. Due to terrorism, in addition to the direct losses, there will also be many indirect losses to the nation. For all these reasons, India needs to have a perpetual policy to curb terrorism, instead of considering the kneejerk actions — the impact of which is not seen over a period of time. For this to happen, keeping aside all the political interests, each and every political party has to join hands.

The nation as a whole is pacific and makes everybody enjoy their own lives. The diligent efforts put in by the Indian Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces are the basis for such a wonderful life being enjoyed by the entire nation. They strive round the clock to safeguard our boundaries, our skies, and our oceans to ensure a peaceful life for all of us. Yes, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to be a soldier! Nonetheless, we can all come together to support the families of the soldiers who laid down their lives for the sake of the nation. Jai Hind!!


Published by sumankasturi

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