Mudda discusses Junaid Mattoo killing, cross-border terrorism

Saturday’s edition of Mudda discussed the death of the commander of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, Junaid Mattoo, in a gunbattle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district the day before. The police confirmed the death on Saturday after the body was recovered from the encounter site.

Mattoo, who was involved in several attacks on security forces in south Kashmir, and two other terrorists were gunned down in a joint operation by the Army, Special Operations Group (SOG) and the CRPF. The three were hiding inside a house in Anantnag’s Arwani village.

The show also discussed about the six policemen killed after militants ambushed their vehicle at Thajiwara Achabal in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday evening.

On the Himanshu Dixit-hosted show, the participants were Kamal Haq, defence experts Praful Bakshi and General Harsh Kakkar, BJP spokesperson Sudesh Verma and Congress spokesperson Surendra Rajput.

Haq opened the discussion, saying the attacks on the terrorists by the Indian Army clearly show that a decisive phase in the Kashmir militancy has been reached. “However, on the other hand, Indian civilians are boiling in anger over barbaric and inhuman killing of Indian soldiers in Kashmir by terrorists and the Pakistani army,” he said.

“In order to resolve the issue, political parties must not have resentment against each other,” added Haq.

Bakshi was of the view that Pakistan-based terrorists are afraid of the Indian Army because they now know that India has become more wary and there is coordination between various agencies regarding future moves and motives to spread terrorism in India.

“The killing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Junaid Mattoo was well planned and coordinated,” said Bakshi.

Bakshi further suggested that the Indian Army should continue to launch surgical strikes on the LoC and Pakistan as the Indian military is already motivated and pro-active. “World opinion supports India in the fight against terrorism,”he said.

Meanwhile, Haq felt the Army should only attack beyond the LoC in order to loosen the grip of the terrorist organisations thriving in Pakistan. “Also, the Army must intensify its present tactics and actions in order to resolve the issue,” he said.

Supporting Bakshi’s contention, Verma said that surgical strikes were a demonstration by the Army of all that India can do. “There is no political establishment over the Army and they have full liberty to take any step to eliminate terrorism from our country,” he said.

Rajput said that the Congress too was with the Army. “Our Army is now well-equipped and observes human rights,” he said. However, he also said that under the rule of the BJP terror attacks have increased in India.

Gen Kakkar pointed out that the role of the Army would remain the same under any government. However, he said that during the peace talks between the two nations certain restrictions are imposed on the Army such as no use of big weapons during firing as it will kill people living on the border. “But as soon as the peace talks are over the situation worsens,” he said.

“The major reason behind the attack on the police vehicle at Thajiwara Achabal by terrorists was that they want to destabilise the Jammu and Kashmir police. The terrorists knew that the local police helps the Army in counter-insurgency, intelligence flows through them and they also control stone pelters during the unrest in the Valley,” said Kakkar.

Bakshi concluded the discussion by suggesting certain measures that the Indian armed forces along with the state government could follow in order to tackle the issue: Re-construct schools and old bridges in the Valley; Army engineers should be put in charge of the development process; recruitment drives should be stepped up and academic quality improved in the region.

“The only way to resolve the issue is to win the hearts and minds of the people. And that can only be done if the government provides education to the masses, increases cultural exchange and brings back Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley,” Bakshi said.

Compiled by Deepti Jain