The pathankoat terrorist attack allegedly carried out by Pakistan Based Terrorist organization Jaish –E-Mohammad gives a chance to look into the new method of Pakistan to use its time tested strategy to use terrorism as its warfare with help of terrorists ( According to Indian definition) ( and Non state actors according to Pakistan definition)
- Since change of government at centre in India in 2014 Pakistan keenly watches the developments inside the country and have been unable to exploit any communal polarization for its use to make its sleeper cells of ISI or other affiliate organizations active to create any instability and given the international scenario and western emphasis on counter terrorism it finds difficult to indulge in its old tactics of using the terror organizations for mass killings as it did earlier in using its terror organizations in terror attacks in big cities and towns .
- Like previous governments Pakistan decided to read the strategy and watch the response of new dispensation and its official policy for Pakistan and after almost one year of the new government Pakistan based terror groups launched its first terror attack outside J&K and targeted the Army area in Gurdaspur in early 2015 to measure the temperament and reaction of new government for Cross border terrorism
- Just like previous governments Pakistan indulged in double game of playing the “Victimhood” before Western powers particularly to USA ( The Army chief of Pakistan Rafel Sahrif visited Washington ) on one hand and putting international pressure on India to be more generous and responsible to keep peace and stability in South Asian region on the other and in the garb of this deceit it successfully managed to bring Narendra Modi on negotiating table with “ K” word as thrust of negotiations.
- The whole emphasis of Modi government to put his credibility on stake with peace process with Pakistan is solely based on the assessment of NSA to contain the terrorist attack from Pakistan as he think that his past experience with Pakistan helps him to read the minds of ISI and army in Pakistan .
- The attack in Gurdaspur in 2015 and attack on Pathankoat in beginning of 2016 indicates something to read between the lines. Now Pakistan has shifted its method not strategy. Use of so called non state actors for terrorist attack is very much there but the target of terror attacks does not seem to be civilians but the army personnel. It will benefit Pakistan on two counts
First- The less civilian causalities the less international pressure or condemnation and public opinion outside India.
Second, The targeted terror attack on Army base will put more pressure on Modi Government from public opinion to Army families to do something concrete on the issue of terrorism and Pakistan will use this leverage to link Kashmir with terrorism and this is the reason why Pakistan has deliberately chosen to stretch the Kashmir battle from Jammu to Punjab. At the same time it demands tactical shift in policy as sooner or later the armies of both side would have to look eyeball to eyeball to each other no matter how they do it? In battle field or negotiating on behalf of political leadership.
- The current international scenario has took a whole circle and just like late 70’s and 1980’s the complex geo political situation in Middle East and growing threat of ISIS for most of the big powers like USA, CHINA and Russia has given Pakistan too much leverage with these powers and Pakistan will use this situation to get some concession from India on Kashmir issue to belittle its international clout and affect the morale of Army.
Pakistan has changed its method not strategy and India needs to catch upon it fast before it is too late.