Two small vessels, probably trawlers, slipped out of Keti Bandar, a small fishing port near Karachi and headed towards the Indo-Pak maritime border. The radio communications between these vessels and people on shore were intercepted by NTRO, which passed them on to the Coast Guard. Apprehensive of an operation similar to the one enacted by Pakistan in Mumbai on 26th November 2008 (26/11), in which 154 innocent people were butchered by ten terrorists, the Coast Guard immediately acted.
Cause for a Mountain Strike Corps
Indian Ocean, the third largest oceanic body in the world accounting for 20% of the total area of the world under water, holds a position of paramount importance for India. Since India occupies a central position in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the significance of the Indian Ocean to the maritime security of the country hardly needs to be emphasized. Rightly and appropriately, India considers the Indian Ocean as its own backyard. As pointed out by the historian K.M.Pannikar, “For India, the Indian Ocean is a vital sea.
Following the government’s recent in-principle clearance to raise a Mountain Strike Corps, a debate over the efficacy of the decision to spend over Rs 64,000 crores on the new accretion has begun.
In recent months, the Pakistan army has been behaving in a rather aggressive manner on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in blatant violation of the mutually observed cease-fire. Following closely on the heels of the beheading of an Indian soldier in January 2013, on August 5th, the Pakistan army once again engineered a brutal incident that resulted in the death of five Indian soldiers in the Poonch sector. Since then, there have been daily incidents of trans-LoC firing and thousands of small arms rounds have been fired.
On July 17, 2013, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) finally approved the army’s proposal for raising a Strike Corps for the mountains. Though the approval came after considerable delay, it is a pragmatic move that will send an appropriate message across the Himalayas. It will help India to upgrade its military strategy against China from dissuasion to genuine deterrence as the Strike Corps, in conjunction with the Indian Air Force (IAF), will provide the capability to launch offensive operations across the Himalayas so as to take the next war into Chinese territory.
Recent bomb blast in Bangalore (17 April 2013) and twin bomb blasts that took place in Hyderabad in February 2013 have reiterated that the phenomenon of urban terrorism has taken firm root in India. In less than a decade, the Indian urban areas like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkotta, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Varanasi, Pune, Kanpur, Coimbatore, Srinagar, Jammu and Ahmedabad have witnessed over 20 major attacks. There have been large-scale casualties, material damage and disruption of life and economic activity as a result.
Early this month the Research and Analysis Wing in its threat assessment conveyed to the government that "there was a possibility of a skirmish or an incident triggered by China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). ...Beijing was contemplating such an action to divert attention from its own domestic trouble." The above RAW report is not much different from its assessment of September 2009 when it ruled out any ‘major military adventure’ (but was silent on the possibility of a minor or limited conflict) by China against India in immediate future as this could derail its own economy.
A recent intelligence report, purportedly issued by the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, has warned of the clear and present danger of a conflict being initiated by China along its border with India ostensibly to divert attention from mounting domestic problems, including political dissent, economic challenges and social discord.
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