Centre backs Balakot narrative, says 43% fall in infiltration

Nityanand Rai. Photo: Wikipedia

In a vindication of its stand, which was a crucial narrative during the Lok Sabha campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said in the lower house of the Parliament on Tuesday (July 9), that there has been a 43 per cent fall post-Balakot strike.

Union minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai responding to a written question on the issue said, “due to concerted and synergised efforts of security forces, the security situation in the state (Jammu and Kashmir) has witnessed an improvement in the first half of this year over the corresponding period of 2018. Net infiltration has reduced by 43 per cent.”

The dip in infiltration has also been attributed to multi-tiered deployment along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC), border fencing, improved intelligence and operational coordination, equipping security forces with improved technological weapons and taking pro-active action against infiltrators. Another step by the government to put in place the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) on LoC along the India-Pakistan border has proved to be a potent tool to guard against infiltration.

  • Terror in numbers
    • 43% drop in net infiltration after Balakot air strike
    • 614 terror related incidents in J&K last year
    • 1,213 incidents of terrorism in J&K since 2014
    • 257 terrorists were neutralised in 2018
    • 213 terrorists killed in 2017
    • 150 terrorists killed in 2016
    • 108 terrorists killed in 2015

Meanwhile, defending the Center’s muscular policy of zero tolerance to tackle terrorism, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said terrorist activities have reduced significantly in J&K and the country’s hinterland. “The government has adopted a zero tolerance policy to tackle terrorism. The security forces have been given a free hand to tackle terrorism. In J&K, security forces are proactively engaging with terrorists, resulting in neutralisation of large number of terrorist,” he said.

However, ground realities narrate another story. Terror-related incidents in J&K have tripled since 2014. According to home ministry data, the number of terror related incidents in J&K have increased from 222 in 2014 to a staggering 614 related incidents in 2018. The year also saw the most number of terrorists being killed by security forces. 257 terrorists were neutralised in 2018 followed by killing of 213 terrorists in 2017 and 150 in 2016. Security forces have killed 733 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir since 2016.

The Centre has also tightened the screws on Islamabad by managing to diplomatically isolate Pakistan and force China to back the international community to designate Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed as a global terrorist.

However, with the Center’s own statement earlier this year that nearly 300 terrorists were active in Jammu and Kashmir and were receiving help from locals. Despite its efforts, the Center’s is a long way off till the Valley is rid of terror.