Veterans stress covert operations in Pakistan to fight terror

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Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) Condemning the killing of 40 CRPF troopers in the Pulwama terror attack last week, retired army men, police officers and former members of national investigation agencies on Thursday said India should conduct covert operations on Pakistan soil to destroy “important targets” and increase diplomatic pressure on Islamabad rather than getting into a full-fledged war.

Noting that going to war should be the last resort to prevent Pakistan from aiding and abetting terrorism on Indian soil, they said the Centre should work to take the youth of Kashmir into confidence and not isolate them further from the mainstream.

“India should now go all out to isolate Pakistan, diplomatically. Death of innocent Indians in the hands of Pakistan-funded terrorists must be highlighted to unite the world on nthe view that Pakistan is not only breeding terrorism, but also sponsoring trainers and supporting terrorism globally,” former BSF DIG Somen Mitra said at a seminar organised by the Molded and Minority Development Council.

“If the people of the country at large wish to avenge the death of CRPF troopers by conducting military offensive against Pakistan, then the security forces will have to work accordingly. But they would have to be given time to decide the course of action,” he said.

Former IPS officer from Bengal Pankaj Kumar Dutta claimed it was more important for India to maintain proper coordination between the armed forces and the intelligence agencies, like RAW, and CBI in Kashmir to monitor activities of separatist elements.

He warned that going into a full-fledged war with Pakistan can have calamitous consequences.

“It is more important to introspect our internal security lapses and identify the loopholes to prevent repeat of such incidents. Avenging the death of our soldiers is important, but to ensure that no other Indian soldiers lose their lives in this manner should be the utmost priority,” Dutta said.

“If India conducts open military offensive on Pakistan now, there is a high possibility that they might retaliate. We must remember that Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons during the 1971 war but they have them now and can use them against us, if provoked,” he claimed.

Remarking that the young generation in Kashmir are being brainwashed and turned against India by separatists and terror outfits based in Pakistan, former CBI Joint Director Sujit Kumar Ghosh said the government should take up confidence building measures and recruit them in Indian army by creating a separate regiment.

He said it was important for the Indian security forces to be able to conduct covert operations on Pakistan soil to gather intelligence inputs to eliminate the influencers of terrorism.

–IANS

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