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Terror tale retold

Terror tale retold

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 29, 2008

Time to shoot jihadis on sight

Wednesday's horror story which unfolded in a middleclass house in Jammu has once again highlighted the threat posed by cross-border terrorism aided and abeted by Pakistan. This is not the first time that terrorists have take hostages or used innocent civilians as a human shield. Nor will it be the last time that people will have to pay a terrible price for the jihadi mindset of those who rule Pakistan and the callous indifference of those who rule India. There are three aspects to Wednesday's hostage crisis that merit comment. First, it is astonishing that the terrorists were able to not only cross the Line of Control and enter India by cutting through the barbed wire fence, but also travel all the way from there to the crowded locality of Chinore in Jammu. On the way, they were stopped at a checkpost where they shot at the security personnel, killing one of them. From that encounter to the one that took place at the house in Chinore it is not a short distance. Which raises serious questions. Why were they allowed to proceed that far? Was there a lapse in responding to the situation? Did the security command and control system malfunction? Unless these questions are answered, it will be impossible to plug the loopholes that allow terrorists to enter our territory and unleash brutal violence on innocent civilians. Second, while the Army jawans who carried out the operation on Wednesday and killed the three Islamic fanatics without collateral damage -- the three hostages who died were slaughtered by the terrorists -- have no doubt done a commendable job, there was obvious lapse on part of the local police which appeared to be nowhere on the scene, thus facilitating the free movement of the murderers without any let or hindrance. The Army and the paramilitary forces in Jammu & Kashmir are no doubt primarily responsible for combating terrorism, but this does not absolve the local police of its responsibilities. To cite distraction caused by the Jammu protest would be tantamount to inventing a reason for the abysmal lapse on part of the local police and the administration. Third, such situations offer an excellent opportunity to expose Islamabad's doublespeak to the world at large, especially those Western Governments which are still reluctant to condemn Islamic terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and are happy to condone the crime committed by Pakistan as well as its agents in the Kashmir Valley. Yet, there was a certain reluctance on part of the authorities to part with real time information.

There is no percentage in berating the UPA Government or the shockingly indifferent Union Home Minister for the worsening situation in Jammu & Kashmir, or in reminding the Prime Minister that his Pakistan policy has not helped save the lives of Indians. With an ineffective 'elected' Government in office but clearly not in power, Pakistan is fast descending into chaos and anarchy. The military may have withdrawn to the barracks, but the ISI is very much active in pushing its jihadi agenda -- across the Durrand Line as well as the Line of Control. There can be only two responses to the reality that prevails: One, India's security forces should be given the freedom to go in hot pursuit of terrorists and smoke them out of their holes; and, two, they should be shot on sight if they dare enter our territory. If jihadis desire death, let us gift it to them.

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