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Two Reasons Why Terrorists Are Targeting Minorities In Kashmir Now

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Two Reasons Why Terrorists Are Targeting Minorities In Kashmir Now

Political parties must set aside differences and the Army must make use of its outreach network. Kashmir cannot be surrendered to the will of murderers and terrorists

by Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd)

Amidst the improving security and social environment in Jammu and Kashmir has come a phenomenon which is being perceived as a major setback to the process of stabilisation and peace. There is no doubt that targeted minority killing is one of the most dastardly terror crimes in a turbulent counter-terror environment. The unfortunate turn of events in Kashmir with the targeted killing of seven persons over the last few days, six of whom were from the minority communities of the Valley, has indeed upset the applecart.

However callous it may sound, this is not a new phenomenon. Such attacks can be expected from terrorists and their handlers, especially when a high impact is intended. That high impact is usually required at the initiation of a campaign or when an impetus is needed. Often when a campaign starts flagging, the need to select soft targets with low investment risk becomes necessary and minorities are among the softest of targets just as another variety of people—soldiers and policemen on leave.

People like Makhan Lal Bindroo, the Srinagar-based chemist who fell to terrorist bullets, spelt courage of the highest kind. As a Kashmiri Pandit, he had witnessed the holocaust of January 1990 when almost the entire community had chosen to move out of Kashmir due to targeted killings and threats. Yet, he had decided to stay back and run his business.

Supinder Kaur, the principal of the government school in Eidgah, Srinagar, was identified by gunmen through checking of identity cards and then targeted because she was a member of the minority Sikh community, which at various stages of the terror campaign and proxy war has been targeted with the purpose of ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir Valley. The most prominent of such attempts was at Chittisinghpura in South Kashmir in March 2000 when 36 members of the Sikh community were targeted.

An organization that calls itself the ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRF) claimed responsibility for the recent killings. It is a crude effort to provide a cover for the umbrella organisation that Pakistan’s ISI runs, to avoid the scrutiny and surveillance of the Financial Assistance Task Force (FATF) of the UN which examines the role of nations in terror financing in various terror-stricken regions of the world. Its observations and classification of nations can lead to all kinds of international sanctions against them. TRF is reported to have the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and even the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) under its wings.

Why should these events have occurred now when security forces (SF) have gained an upper hand in Kashmir and the strength of terrorists appears to have been reduced to the lowest number ever in 30 years?

Why Strike Now?

Two aspects are important in this analysis. First is the fact that after the decisions of August 5, 2019, when India undertook a fresh robust drive against terror and combined it with a series of other constitutional and legal measures, the back of terror networks was largely broken. The most important of these measures was the focus laid on dismantling many networks which had thrived in J&K over 30 years, and on which the terror industry depended.

These networks run by a plethora of over ground workers (OGWs) helped shore up terror. While terrorists were regularly eliminated, these networks thrived and continued to support the creation and functioning of the replacements which were provided by recruitment or infiltration. The networks also had academic, financial, media, ideological and legal linkages. Once the networks got hit, the chances of revival of terror started to dwindle. It is important for the ISI to retain these networks and back them with intermittent high-profile acts to project relevance of separatists and terrorists. High-profile acts are not easy to come by with the dragnet laid by the security forces.

It’s for this reason that a potential low-depth infiltration was attempted at Uri on the fifth anniversary of the ISI-sponsored Uri strike on September 18, 2021 so that a high-profile objective in the vicinity of Uri could be hit. It got botched with the Army blocking the infiltration and capturing a terrorist. Something had to be done in a hurry by the ISI to retain relevance and traction in Kashmir or see its years of investment get neutralised by the actions of the security forces.

What Needs To De Done

The second issue of relevance relates to the events in Afghanistan with the advent of Taliban 2.0. There were unreasonable expectations that the latter would immediately focus on assisting Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. The reality is that some winds of inspiration have blown in all directions and Islamist organizations are attempting revival. That is how the TRF probably feels inspired and the task given to it by the ISI forced it to seek soft options for immediate impact and messaging after the failure of efforts at Uri.

The immediate impact of the targeting of minorities in Kashmir is social pressure—many leaving their home and hearth. This would be a victory of sorts for the perpetrators. It is at this time that the political and security communities in J&K must rise to give comprehensive assurances and work towards minority security.

A social movement within the Kashmiri Muslim community must emerge to display courage and empathy with the unfortunate members of their society. They cannot be seen to be resigning themselves to the situation and succumbing to the diktat of terrorists and separatists. Political parties must set aside differences and the Army must make use of its outreach network. Kashmir cannot be surrendered to the will of murderers and terrorists.

It’s not just defensive measures which are important. Targeting networks must continue as this is a laborious process of painstaking intelligence work. Intelligence must be stepped up and domination operations around pockets of minority settlements must be energised. This is a great opportunity to show resolve through strong and patient messaging. What happens now will set the tone for the future. Anticipating next steps by the terror elements is also important. Hence, the need to warn all soldiers and policemen on leave and their families, as they too are soft targets.

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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