Homeland Security

Convergence of Terror
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 01 Nov , 2011

The insurgencies that impacted the Indian landscape till early this decade were generally in isolation. Though, they, like all insurgencies had external links, but the internal linkages between them were at best tenuous. The Khalistan insurgency could be extinguished because of its uni-dimensional nature. It was confined to a specific geographic area and was supported by a specific group of people, easy to identify. Their cadre base was low. The Kashmir militancy had not fully reared its head. The ISI patronage and support was well-known. The pioneering ideologues of the movement were based abroad and did not belong to the segment of the community, which provided the foot-soldiers. The objective of the insurgency was to carve out another theocratic state. The same can be said about insurgencies in the Northeast (NE). They too were supported by China, but in a manner that the deniability factor could be maintained. A separate country was their objective and not the destruction of the Indian state. The acts of terrorism in these insurgencies were to intimidate the local populace and preempt any support to the security forces.

When the Army Chief talks about a two-front situation, he must realize that India is already facing a multi-front situation in terms of proxy war being waged by China, Pakistan and other inimical powers.

Over the years, there is fusion of insurgency and terrorism. It first took the shape of proxy war with territorial objectives. Therefore, when the Indian Security establishment was faced with the Kargil misadventure, it initially appeared bewildered because it could not appreciate that a low intensity conflict could assume the shape of a conflict, which was constricted in limit and scope due to internal and external considerations and pressures. The overall military superiority that India enjoyed vis-à-vis Pakistan could not deter the latter.

The proxy war waged by Pakistan and China are now converging on Delhi. This proxy war has various terrorist groups as its main tool. The main instruments of this war are none other but some Indians who are allured by ideology or money or both. They have been convinced that India in its present form is a demonic state and needs to be destroyed. The Maoists, Pakistan based terrorist groups, and terrorist groups in Northeast, Punjab and J&K are now in collaboration. They have forged a nexus for training, procurement of arms, establishing external linkages and providing safe-havens to each other. They are leveraging on one another’s strength and reach. Their common objective is to destroy the Indian State.

When the Army Chief talks about a two-front situation, he must realize that India is already facing a multi-front situation in terms of proxy war being waged by China, Pakistan and other inimical powers. This multi-front proxy war is rendering the country hollow from within. The inimical elements within the country are debilitating both our military resolve and our conventional capability.

“¦Maoists, who are trampling the heart of India, and the Pak sponsored jihadis of Kashmir as well as terrorists groups in Punjab, and the China backed insurgent groups of Northeast, who have been trying to severe the head and limbs respectively, are now acting in concert, the internal security situation is grim.

The security of a country is the harmony between internal security and external security. Pakistan is collapsing because it always viewed internal security from the prism of external security. India on the other hand has been notorious in ignoring the external dimensions of internal security problems and treating them as that of law and order. If the Maoists, who are trampling the heart of India, and the Pak sponsored jihadis of Kashmir as well as terrorists groups in Punjab, and the China backed insurgent groups of Northeast, who have been trying to severe the head and limbs respectively, are now acting in concert, the internal security situation is grim. A Super Power like the Soviet Union with its massive military capability, collapsed because it could not harmonize internal security with external security. India must not repeat the mistake. The Indian Army must revisit its threat perception and the very definition of ‘enemy’.

Convergence of Terror

The arrest of two Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) leaders of Manipur Arun Kumar Singh and Dalip Singh in October 2011 exposed the emerging links between the militant organizations in the NE, Kashmir, LeT, and the Maoists. They revealed the ongoing effort on part of these groups to form a ‘Strategic United Front’ since they had the common objective to overthrow the Indian government. They reckon that it is only collectively that they would be able to take on the might of the Indian State. They also revealed the plans of setting up a ‘Joint Training Camp’ in Myanmar. The Times of India on 08 October 2011 quoted official sources “ISI and PLA are in-touch and supply Maoists with arms. They are supposedly using China as the alternative route.” The official sources also claim to have photographic evidence of Maoist cadres from six Indian states being trained by the PLA of Manipur, in Orissa and Jharkhand.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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