Counter Terrorist Operations in Jammu and Kashmir

Historical Perspective

The partition of India was premised on the 'Two Nation Theory'. Jinnah believed that the logic of partition dictated that Kashmir had no choice but to accede to Pakistan - a logic that was perhaps as flawed then as it is now. India viewed partition as unnecessary and tragic, but essentially completes when she agreed to it and declared itself a secular State. On the other hand, Pakistan viewed partition as inevitable and necessary but fundamentally incomplete. Never reconciled to the reality and consequences of partition, Pak has been variously aiding and abetting terrorism in the State.

Proxy War

What started as a disaffection of sorts has now acquired the dimensions of a full-fledged Pak supported Proxy War. The terrorists with the support of their mentors across the borders have unleashed a reign of terror on innocent civilians. Today, even as the people of Jammu and Kashmir yearn for peace, the State has been stained with the blood of innocents. The Indian Army has done yeoman’s service to the nation by way of successful Counter Terrorist Operations and providing much needed assistance to the civil administration and the common people. In concert with the civil administration, it is determined to bring back peace and stability to the State.

Concept of Operations

The Indian Army (IA) is committed to bringing down the levels of violence to "manageable levels" so as to restore the confidence of the people and create a secure environment to facilitate smooth governance and socio economic development.

Current Security Situation Outlook

The situation in J&K has, over the last few years, shown considerable improvement, symbolising a return to normalcy. The security environment has shifted considerably in favour of the Security Forces. Intense operations conducted by Security Forces have resulted in a stable situation that is conducive to undertaking of developmental activities by the local government machinery. The terrorists have suffered heavy attrition (particularly the apex leadership) and simultaneously have not been able to replenish their dwindling cadres due to the effectiveness of the counter infiltration measures. This has led to a sharp decline in the violence inflicted by terrorists. The overall situation in Kashmir is one of optimism. The people are yearning for peace.

Terrorist Attrition

The Army's strategy of 'Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove' is paying rich dividends. Our focus is on conduct of surgical and professional operations based on hard intelligence, while cause minimum inconvenience to the local populace. Simultaneously, the focus has been on destruction of terrorist infrastructure, resulting in a large number of hideouts being busted and recovery of huge caches of arms and ammunition.

Public Mood and Terrorist Morale

In the hinterland there is an increasing realization of the futility of resorting to the gun. Violence levels are on the decline. The IA is focusing on breaking the 'Over Ground Worker' (OGW) - Terrorist nexus, as also on the aspect of encouraging surrenders to bring the misguided youth to the mainstream. On numerous occasions the parents and close relatives of terrorists seeking assistance in facilitating their surrender have approached the Army. Consequently more than 150 terrorists have surrendered since 01 Jan 2006.

The success of the Counter Proxy War campaign has resulted in a significant downward slide in terrorist morale. A perceptible barometer of terrorist morale is the high number of surrenders of their cadres.

The Value of Human Rights

The IA attaches the highest importance to upholding human rights in its counter terrorism operations. Troops are briefed to conduct operations using minimum force, avoid collateral damage, act in good faith and maintain the highest moral standards. These, collectively, form the cornerstone of the IA’s modus operandi.

People Friendly Measures

The IA has been instrumental in operationalising various confidence-building measures with Pakistan, in conformity with the Government policy of enhancing people to people contact across the borders. The Srinagar - Muzaffarabad bus link through the Aman Setu Bridge on the Line of Control (LC), was operationalised in a record time. The recently commissioned Punch - Rawalakot bus link has bestowed similar benefits. The Army also established five Composite Relief and Rehabilitation Points (COMPRAPs) on the LC, in the aftermath of the J&K earthquake to facilitate crossings by divided families.


The success achieved in J&K has resulted in a fair degree of stability conducive to execution of developmental projects by the local government machinery. The surge in tourist influx, consequent boost to the economy and peaceful conduct of Amarnath Yatra for three consecutive years are some of the more visible manifestations of such an assessment.