Don’t bring to us unbelievable stats: Par panel to MHA

Don’t bring to us “unbelievable statistics” — this was the terse message from a Parliamentary panel to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its latest report on border security.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs led by former Home Minister P Chidambaram did not mince words when it wondered how terrorist attacks continued to happen in Jammu and Kashmir if security forces foiled all infiltration attempts in the past four years.

Acknowledging that the efforts taken to foil infiltration attempts had resulted in reduction in such incidents, the panel said its main concern was with the incidents where the terrorists “successfully infiltrate” into Indian territory and carry out terror attacks.

However, the report said, “the committee also takes exception to the confusing statistics furnished by the Ministry that show that all cases of infiltration were foiled in the past 4 years. If such was the case, no terrorist attack would have happened in the last three years.”

The Committee strongly recommends that instead of furnishing unbelievable statistics, the Ministry should focus on further augmenting the capacity of Border Guarding Forces to make Line of Control and International Boundary a zero-tolerance area for terrorist infiltration,” it said.

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Reasons for increase in infiltration attempts from Pakistan

** Pakistan’s ability to regulate the inflow of terrorists into Kashmir

** To direct attention of international fora from internal security situation within Pakistan to Kashmir

** Help foment trouble and provide indigenous hue to the violence in Kashmir

** In view of damage inflicted by Indian forces to terrorists over the last five years, need to revive strength of terrorists operating in Kashmir to keep their movement alive

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Ministry should focus on further augmenting the capacity of Border Guarding Forces to make Line of Control and International Boundary a zero-tolerance area for terrorist infiltration,” it said.

The comments are part of a report prepared by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by former Home Minister P Chidambaram on the action taken by the government on its earlier recommendations on ‘Border Security: Capacity Building and Institutions’.

The report acknowledged the MHA’s argument that Pakistan is making attempts to “divert” international attention from the internal security situation within the country to Kashmir. The panel said India should use all diplomatic avenues to counter it.

It also said Pakistan’s efforts to “regulate the inflow” of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and to “foment violence” in the state need to be “combated/checked to eliminate any possibility of terrorist attacks” there.

The panel had in last April expressed concerns over the sudden spurt in infiltration attempts on Line of Control (LoC) and to this, the government has now replied that it has constructed 668.66 km long Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border under the operational control of Army.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 9, 2018)

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