Army claim of active LoC belied by J&K government figures - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Friday 18 January 2013

Army claim of active LoC belied by J&K government figures

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 18th Jan 13

Sharply contradicting the army’s claim that Pakistan-based militancy remains active, and that cease-fire violations and infiltration take place as frequently as ever, the J&K government’s count of violence in Kashmir indicates that militancy has dramatically declined.

Government of J&K figures obtained by Business Standard for the last three years, i.e. 2010-2011, conclusively show that, on every important count, militancy has declined each year to half that of the previous year.

In 2010, the number of security force soldiers killed was 69; in 2011 that declined to 33; in 2012, it was 15. The number of civilians killed in 2010 was 164; in 2011, it was 40; and last year it was down to 24. The numbers of militants killed during those three years were 232, 100 and 72 respectively.

These figures are compiled by J&K government agencies on the basis of police records of each incident, which are by and large reliable. This declining trend is also corroborated by respected independent agencies like the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). According to SATP records, there were a total of 375 fatalities (security forces, militants and civilians) in 2010; this went down to 183 fatalities in 2011; and to 117 dead in 2012.

[The SATP compiles its figures from media reports, while the J&K government compiles its figures from police station records.]

In contrast to this declining trend of violence, the army’s figures suggest a noticeable increase in militant activity on the Line of Control (LoC) over these three years, especially last year.

The Army Liaison Cell (ALC), which handles media relations for the army, tells Business Standard that there were 57 ceasefire violations in 2010; 61 in 2011; and 117 in 2012. This year, there have already been 14 violations. In 2010, 90 militants infiltrated into J&K across the LoC; this number declined to 55 in 2011; but then increased dramatically to 120 last year.

Ajai Sahni, a respected expert on militancy and terrorism from the Institute for Conflict Management, is deeply sceptical about the army’s regular claims that militant infiltration is on the rise.

“The army’s infiltration figures are simply not credible. One set of figures contradict another and, most noticeably, they are in sharp variance with the overall trend of declining violence. When militant infiltration increases, so too should killings, arrests and violent incidents. Militants don’t infiltrate for fun,” says Sahni.

The army explains the killing of two Indian soldiers near Poonch on Jan 8, and the mutilation of their bodies including the beheading of one, as an indicator of increased Pakistani activity on the LoC.

The J&K government figures also point to reduced militant activity on the LoC. The number of militant-initiated violent incidents has declined from 368 in 2010; to 195 in 2011; to just 124 last year. These incidents include grenade attacks, explosive devices, random firing, arms snatching and abduction.

Also pointing to declining militancy in J&K is the number of militants that surrendered to the government. In 2010, 20 militants laid down their arms and joined the mainstream; another 19 did so in 2011; while just one militant surrendered last year.

“There are just about 150 militants active in J&K now. Naturally, surrenders are going to decline,” says a senior J&K Police officer.


J&K Security situation
Year 2010 2011 2012
Militants killed 232 100 72
Militants/Suspects arrested 155 145 150
Civilians killed in Terrorist violence 47 31 15
Civilians killed while maintaining Law & Order 112 0 0
Civilians killed in incidents          (not related to terrorism) 5 9 9
Total civilians killed 164 40 24
PMF/SF killed 49 18 9
Police personnel killed 15 13 4
SPO killed 5 2 2
VDC killed 0 0 0
Total security force  killed 69 33 15
Soldiers killed in border firing 7 2 3
Grenade attacks 37 25 28
Blast / explosion 28 16 5
Arson 23 4 2
Rocket attacks 0 0 0
Random firing 74 52 33
Cross firing 191 89 50
Arms / snatching 2 1 5
Abduction 12 8 1
Hanging 1 0 0
Militant-related violent incidents 368 195 124
Other Acts
Posters 54 78 61
IEDs/Hand Grenade/ Exp.defused 43 47 26
Miscellaneous. etc. 23 20 9
Total 120 145 96
Militants surrendered 20 19 1


  1. Although I feel strange pointing it to an ex-serviceman, but still posting it as a resident of the state. Don't you think that fall in terrorist activities has more to do with better surveillance or border and intelligence inside ? There are less terrorists inside the state because most of them die trying crossing it. Pakistanis have never desisted from pushing in their 'non-state actors' and Kashmiri Muslim dominated J&K regime is notorious for pandering to separatists for influence and votes. There is no mention of infiltration attempts in the table. This article presents facts in such a way so as to call army a liar which is grossly unfair.

  2. WTF?
    You mean to say that the Army is on the LOC for fun.
    What reason would they have for fudging figures.
    Why can we not say that the J&K govt is not faking it,in order to prepare a groundwork for lifting of AFPSA and please their supporters.

    Any day I will take the version of the Army than that of the J&K govt.

    One does not advocate a jingoistic line,but regretfully your comments and articles of late seem to be hell bent on debunking India and playing a 'we are also to blame' angle with relation to every act of Pakistan.

  3. Ajai, what exactly are you insinuating?

  4. 72 militants killed, and 150 arrested.

    How in God's sweet world did the Lahori mathematician "Sr. J&K Police Officer" claim there are only 150 active militants! Are we saying we killed 20% and arrested half of the total in 2012?

    Col. Shukla: Something stinks about your article.

    - Devender Singh

  5. Hello Sir,

    I just wanted to clear up a doubt.If my memory serves me correctly when I saw Lt. Gen. KT Parnaik's interview recently on the tele , he said that ceasefire violations have gone up regularly over the past few years.He goes on further to say,that these increase in ceasefire violations is due to PA's frustration at their inability to infiltrate more terrorists into the valley.They do so because they see normalcy coming back to Kashmir and are desperate to stir the hornets nest.I don't remember him saying that valley is up in flames or any thing of that sort.I thought when the army was giving these figures of ceasefire violations,it meant to show Pakistan Army's intransigence and their renewed eagerness to get their proxies across the LC and not an actual swarm of terrorists storming into the valley.

    That's what I inferred from the statistics and the general's interview.Are you saying that what the army actually is trying to tell the mango public with the ceasefire figures is that there are more terrorists and more violence in Kashmir ? Because I can't remember any army officer saying that to the media in recent memory.In your report it is stated that 55 militants crossed over in 2011.But if I remember correctly GOC, 16 Corps , sometime in summer of 2011 said that there were no infiltration up to that point.Does that mean the ALC and the Corps commander are not on the same page(if true that,that is troubling)or did the militants find a way to infiltrate in the winter(even more troubling) ?

  6. @ j

    The article does not say anything. It makes public two sets of figures: one from the J&K government and another from the army... and points out that one dramatically contradicts the other.

    The J&K government figures are verifiable. A police station record exists for each one of them. No militancy-related incident takes place without a police FIR being filed.

    In contrast, the army's figures are totally non-verifiable.

    You can choose what to believe. A commentator as respected as Ajai Sahni, who has as hard line a stance on Pakistan as anyone I know, believes the army is lying.

    You can make your own choice. This is what journalism is: present the facts and let the audience make its choice.

  7. @ Anonymous 13:46

    Just for your information, the army's own figures of militancy corroborate the J&K government's. So you can put away your conspiracy theories about concocting figures to repeal AFSPA.

    How can India ever share a part of the blame? After all, we are all little Gods and Goddesses, placed by the Almighty on this earth to raise the standards of humanity.

  8. Well, for once i have to say that you have not done your home work properly. You chose to hide some very recent facts to prove a point , which somehow has not been convincing . The recent kidnapping and murder of sarpanchs, their resignations, security forces apprehending a fully armed militant from the heart of srinagar, surely talks of substantial militant presence in j&K. You feel that since lesser armymen are being killed, the militancy should have reduced. It seems you want more security pers to get killed so that you are convinced of militancy in j&k. Hafeez saeed visits Pok gives a speech, and orchestrates a gruesome act and you want us to believe there is hardly any terrorism left in kashmir. The same officials who feels terrorism has reduced should prove it by reducing their security. Articles like this are doing more harm than good. I am not even sure if this comment will be published.

  9. @ Devender Singh

    Something does indeed stink about my article. And that is your ability to read.

    It is not 150 militants arrested. It is 150 militants/suspects. And as anyone who has operated in J&K knows, very very few of the "suspects" that the J&K Police arrests turn out to be militants.

    Read responses above.

  10. If we are to believe what you have said, then why is there militant activity and loc firing still on. Should we believe army which is on the border or babus who are sitting in their office and making analysis. have you seen a war movie? in such situations exact figures may not be possible, but close approximations are just as good. So if there is a slight variance in army figures, it is acceptable. We all know that there is militancy in kashmir. Militancy doesn’t finish just because one article says so.

  11. sir..
    But having a low crime rate suits the J&K Govt.. also elections next year means the state govt would like to keep them down.
    Army's figures may be exaggerated but we also cannot trust the state govt. There's also reluctance to lodge an FIR as it ll reflect in the crime rate.
    Going by the scheme of things u can neither trust the state govt nor the army it seems..
    such is the reputation of our "authorities" and "stake holders"..

  12. Ajai,

    One point... Border violations and ceasefire violations are not reflected in the FIRs. Theres no FIR for that. Only if there is a death, then FIR is lodged for border violations.

    Militancy is another issue. If border violations have increased, then only Army figures have to be trusted as it is manning the LoC. And if they have increased, the question arises; why have border violations increased? The age old 'covering fire for infilt' can be the reason. But it cannot be the only reason.

    Army's claim that violence along the LoC has increased seems likely. Dont believe in the hinterland though.

  13. Who's at the sharp end? The J&K info is based on politicians view and give some of the peaceniks in the country something to crow about. Pakis are cooking something on slow gas. Could this be Western troops withdrawal in 2014?

  14. Ajay Shukla is deeply involved in defaming the Army and in perticular one section of it.....
    Army minus the Mud Corps.....

    Deeply subjective reporting....

  15. "How can India ever share a part of the blame? After all, we are all little Gods and Goddesses, placed by the Almighty on this earth to raise the standards of humanity"

    A wonderful use of a hackneyed thought terminating cliche.Anyways,I don't think anybody is infallible,that's the only motto I have in life as an atheist and I don't think either we or for that matter any other people are on this pale blue dot to preach,because there is nobody to put us over here,we all are just imperfect animals capable of horror and greatness and I have no problem in questioning the Indian Army.The reason I asked you these questions were because I truly was confused because yours is the first article that I have read which gives this side of the story.So forgive me for probing like this.All I wanted to know was what is your assessment as to why the army is lying,if indeed it is lying.

  16. So you are basically corroborating the number of LoC incidents to the militant activity in the state? Your own report says that "The ALC tells there were 57 ceasefire violations".

    That is a strange corroboration. Ceasefire violations are attempts at infiltration. So Pakistan was trying to push more terrorists through. And then, not everyone who crosses over starts firing the very next day! Some will be in wait and watch mode awaiting instructions from their leaders. They may be planning/recruiting/training others too.

    There can't be a 1:1 corroboration between the ceasefire and infiltration attempts at the LoC to actual militant activity within the state. Trying to do that is intellectual dishonesty.

    Looks like someone is lining up for another Padma award, and/or US citizenship :)

  17. I don't understand where is the contradiction....Ajai Sahni may have his own point of view but there is no relation between militants crossing over and violence level, i.e. number of killings....It may be that they are lying low down waiting for the opportunistic moment to strike...Also these terrorists could have changed their tactics under order from ISI. Now they want to promote propaganda among masses leading to stone pelting protests rather than outright killings because world is in no mood to accept outright killings as part of internationalization of Kashmir issue.

    Also 10 terrorists crossed over and killed 166 in Mumbai on 26/11...There are cases where 6 terrorists could have managed to kill only 4 people....So where is the link between number of casualties and number of terrorists crossing over?

  18. How do LoC incidents relate to militant activity inside the valley? LoC incidents are both by Pak Army and militants across the border. More LoC incidents doesn't necessarily equal more valley incidents. As you know "correlation doesn't lead to causation." and this sadly, is basis of your entire post.
    Also please explain - why Army stats are less credible than police records.
    Mr. Shukla - I am concerned that there is conflict of interest for you - Track 2 negotiations and defense analyst doesn't jive together. Since the army is the main stake holder that is against concessions in Saichin, Sir Creek or Loc, it might look like you are trying to discredit the Army and render them with less bargaining power in the negotiation. You can see how I used the same logic "correlation leading to causation" to make my case about your conflict of interest.

  19. Ajai boss how right you are in your analysis!!!

    You have J&K govt figures to support your hypothesis. Its obvious who you trust more.

    And you have one name sake of yours to back you up. Credentials dont matter huh. Has this guy been to J&K (I dont mean Vaishno Devi by that).

    Very cleverly you have mixed up statistics of the LOC and hinterland. What effect has ceasefire violations go to do with violence in valley??? How are they related? By your own quoted figures violence levels in valley were high er in 10/11. but army cf violations were low in that period. Please explain.

    Even as I type this, the Pak envoy is quoting media persons like you who propogate their veiw point ( Headlines Today - 9.44 PM). I know whta you will say. i stand by the truth...Nothing is farther from the truth friend.

    You have played with figures to further some design. It is not still clear what!!!Maybe to book another seat for yourself in the next jaunt to discuss peace between the two countries.

  20. If u cant take criticism sportingly then dont allow or display comments

  21. For me,the IA's only fault ever,if any,has been in promoting certain people without personal integrity to ranks such as Colonel. It is,pretty obviously,going by the contents of the blog,a far more grievous error than any apparent discrepancies in figures with an organ of the govt.(J&K Police) whose loyalty to India is suspect,and whose ranks have been thoroughly infiltrated into by the ISI....

  22. Side by side Oh yes, very much!

    BROADSWORD is soon going to be blessed with new set of followers.

  23. Let me ask you Mr Ajai Shukla a couple of questions to clear my mind on your stance.

    Were there any border incidents/ violence along the LoC prior to the onset of militancy in J&K?

    If so why? There was no violence in the hinterland. Then how is this

    Do all incidents on the LoC culminate in a FIR?

    What on earth is the benefit to the Indian Army to increased CFV figures along the LoC? Is anybody asking the Army to reduce the deployment along the LoC?

    Is J&K Police impartial and can it refute the stance of the State Govt on any issue?

    Lastly, can Mr Ajai Sahni irrefutably explain either the cause, or effect of all the violence parameters in J&K or all the machinations of Pakistan in this regard?

  24. Violence at the LoC never has been and can never be directly linked to violence parameters. Some relevance though inevitable, the causes could be many, assist infiltration, due to personalities, abrogation of talks, casus belli, etc to name a few and for a professional defence analyst like Ajai Shukla of all people not to know this is perjury. But then being from the Armoured Corps maybe his knowledge of an active LoC is rather limited. What however is amazing is his attempt to give statistical validation by quoting figures from SATP and the J&K Government.
    Firstly SATP is neither a government agency nor a statutory body or for that matter an agency which has direct access either to the LoC or to official figures to be considered an irrefutable source.
    Coming on to the J&K Government neither do they have the ability or the resources to record all CFVs on the LoC. Their figures can at best be a compilation from the FIRs wherein some damage to life or property of civilians has been affected. The Army on the other hand has to be involved in each and every instance and hence we would have to lend credence to the CFV figures put out by the Army.
    By the way what is the possible motive to increase CFV figures? Does the Army want increased deployment along the LoC, and is somebody preventing that. My impression was that the contentious issue was the deployment in the hinterland which has no bearing on the CFVs.
    Now for the link between infiltration and violence parameters in the hinterland, it is only a matter of common sense to appreciate that anyone who infiltrates will not pick up a gun immediately and start behaving violently. There is a requirement of a min figure to sustain the proxy war and this does not include only terrorists. There is also the possibility of having sleepers and other inimical elements that may be called upon for tasks at a later time frame. After all who would want to put all the eggs in the same basket!!
    Let us not denigrate figures given by the Army simply because it is inconvenient and does not fit in with a theory and Ajai Shukla, you of all people should know the dangers of such an approach.

  25. Shame on you Mr. Shukla. Used to look forward to your blog. Loved the series on the Arjun, but this. Can't say that I would be returning.

  26. The statements of the Army and the J&K politicians both converge on to the unique features of a common singular phenomenon. Since our soldiers at LOC have by now turned staunch, hard, smart and proactive, so they are now more and more able to not allow the terrorists entering in to our borders. Such preventive measures are reducing the numbers of terrorists being active in the parts of J&K and thus the reduction in the terrorist activities statewide. Again since Pakistan666 is not happy on this overall situation so they are obviously increasingly attempting to help the terrorists to cross the LOC.

  27. Nice article Sir

    But I have following reservations

    It's true that home grown militancy is all time low in j&k therefore the no. of surrender has gone down.
    Though militancy is on a down ward trend in the state but the urge to rekindle it in in the valley isn't following the same trend in the minds of interested parties.
    Is activity of pushing in militants has increased? Though i am not contesting the numerical value or how successful they are in their tactics.(no. of successful infiltration detected or undetected or the incidents where they are repulsed.)
    Also ceasefire violation and attempted/successful infiltration is not presumably reported to local police station but militancy related activities are.
    So both the data cannot always be equated or be proportional.
    "..... When militant infiltration increases, so too should killings, arrests and violent incidents. Militants don’t infiltrate for fun,” says Sahni.
    This is probably the most important question raised.
    No one can answer it definitely.The probable reason are
    As support for militancy has reduced in the valley,local don't hesitate to report the suspicious activity or people.
    this pov can be proved as u can see the data for arrested militant/suspects has not decreased.This pov could have been taken further but unfortunately data for suspects arrested but found innocent is not available.
    so is it only better policing that is yielding results?
    So are the handlers not accepting the fact the militancy is dying its
    natural death in Kashmir and are keeping on pushing men across only to be arrested before they do anything??
    Or are the terrorists crossing over mixing with the crowd and laying low to chance upon any incident which could flare up to paint the new wave of terrorism indigenous rather than foreign funded or orchestrated?
    Or the terrorists crossing over are having minimum contacts with the locals which makes it difficult for apprehending?
    Or kashmiris who had crossed over are returning back to the valley?
    (but it is highly unlikely that PA would help them cross over)
    But for terrorists crossing over and its effect to be seen be only be immediate or can it be delayed?
    can it be only continuous, sporadic, discrete , in bursts or short intermittent wave of terrorism ?
    IMHO will depend upon numerical strength,support,synergy between diff. groups, political situation prevailing and the end objective needed to be achieved.
    The best man possible to answer all this question effectively and satisfactorily is TIME.
    And simply concluding that
    less effect== less terrorist== less infiltration can WAIT.
    So also painting Indian Army in the color dripping in this article can also WAIT.
    Lastly sincere request to every one to support or Army and Police forces to work to end where not even an iota of life is left in terrorism and there is no chance of revival.
    IMHO there is nothing wrong in the the article neither it tries to pin any one or draw hard conclusion. but what I honestly object to is
    Timing of publication as it comes at a time when we have seen a ghastly act on our Army by an agency whose intention behind the act as mentioned
    by OUR Army is being suggestively negated. So forces us draw a conclusion that the author by questioning the reason behind the attack is putting a big question mark on the whole incident or a part of it.
    and use of statements like "......
    How can India ever share a part of the blame? After all, we are all little Gods and Goddesses, placed by the Almighty on this earth to raise the standards of humanity."
    in the comments sections make us ponder over the reason why the author has chosen to keep this article suggestive and not put across his thoughts as above openly??
    May be openly stating above statement needs to be backed by facts which
    are hard to come by or may be none.
    Finally our Army has stood the test of TIME successfully and successively and has come out victorious.
    And I leave it to TIME to tell the end of tale battle between "selfless service and malicious intent".

  28. Shukla Sir

    what does Army get by giving out false figures......Army's deployment in COIN op. in the valley is a political decision so if u think insurgency is all time low and the security situation will not worsen then remove Army from COIN and disband RR.
    But two things
    If once removed even if the condition worsens Army should not be brought back.... it should not be on/off again and again,
    No Army deployment without AFSPA.

    But to deploy Army in a role that it should not be doing and then questioning Army's intention is disgraceful.

  29. Two issues with your thesis, comrade colonel.

    One, the number of incidents/cease-fire violations along the LoC need not be correlated to the number of security personnel killed or militants killed in Kashmir. It is entirely conceivable that the former rose while the latter declined. For example, the border fencing and lighting may have spurred an increased number of infiltration attempts while good CI decreased the number of incidents of violence in the state at the same time.

    Two, it is entirely possible for the number of successful infiltration attempts to go up while the number of arrests and killings go down. As far as I know, there is no rule that calls for a terrorist infiltrating in 2012 to carry out a violent act in 2012 itself. He (and others) may well choose to lie low, build up numbers and strength, and strike at the opportune moment.

    It is quite likely that Army and Police records are both correct, and nobody is fudging any numbers. Good thing about this argument is that it requires no conspiracy theory to prove :)

  30. Ajai I liked your article. It provides some sense and rationale to the issue.

    though i say statistics are like a bikini.........Actually you can mould figures any which way you want

  31. Dear Ajai,
    The figures to me mean that terrorists are now facing more trouble in infiltrating and performing acts of terrorism in hinterland hence the decrease in numbers. More number of attempted infiltrations only indicate frustration on part of militants who now are trying to crossover in smaller groups, multiple times and at many locations. Terrorist activities also include recruitment, indoctrination, funding, building hideouts etc many of which go unreported. Does mere indication of peace good enough a reason to let our guard down, allow good done to be frittered away, or should we consolidate till no loss of life can be guaranteed due to militant action and civil administration is back to helm of affairs.


  32. Ajai ji,
    Things are definately improving for better in J & K. I feel that a hasty decision to pull out army would be counter productive. we must strengthen peace and democratic organisations. Little trouble to populace would still be better than a soul killed due to militant action. Friends across would not let go off this agenda so soon, they are just waiting for us to let our guard down. Do you think army is there just to enjoy , have fun, enjoy the snow, or are you willing to take the responsibility that no militant activity will ever take place, no civilian will be killed, if it does, then who will be responsible. Army still has a sense of responsibility, and is doing all it can. Hasty decisions can be counter productive. Educated minds can see and judge better than faulty interpretation of figures.

  33. Old Man.. you need to respond to your readers as that is the function of a blog which I know you know. just been to trishul trident blog and see the activity per page... And compare with yours.. ppl needed first hand knowledge account and experience from people like you on deals and sturd.. Cheers

  34. this is sheer tunnel vision approach. how can u compare oranges with chikoos Ajai ji?????
    Increased infiltration need not translate into violent action immediately. maybe Pakis are recouping the stock of militants. To up the ante later. plausible??

  35. being your senior i have to keep my head in shame....!!! your conclusion that ARMY is lying is absolute seems after your recent visit to Pakistan has a very big impact on your mindset and which is showing up now...

  36. Militancy in J&K is an industry; its the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs for the State Govt as well as for the community of traders & contractors who derive inflated profits from a militancy markup. I see no reason for the State Govt to suppress or censor militant activity data. LC incidents are not directly related to militancy. The Army has a habit of exaggeration its data to suit its own ends. It goes without saying that the Army's data sources, especially its intelligence sources, in J&K lack credibility and reliability. Intelligence gathering or its associated staff-work has never been an Army forte; there is no specialisation or career progression involved. That said, the Army has certainly been singularly responsible for controlling and reducing the numbers & influence of militants (AKA terrorists).

    Broadsword has provided viewpoints representing both sides of the coin. We need not agree at all with his opinion. At the same time I find most comments deride him for his opinions without proposing a countervailing opinion or a justification to ridicule Broadsword. I feel sorry for the ignorants - they are more at home on a poultry farm actually.

  37. Media thrives on controversy, in fact so much so that in 22st century controversy has become the opiate of the masses. And some people have made a habit of letting imagination run wild to create a controversy where none exists. On would be interested in knowing the exact source of these J&K government figures with certitude.
    The author would be advised to refrain from projecting such a dichotomy of figures without corroboration. Every ceasefire violation may not result in an infiltration and the declining violence is a testimony to the vigil mounted by the Indian Army on the line of control.
    On one hand the author keeps on harping on the lack of state of the art equipment in the Indian Army and on the other hand assumes the role of advocate of peace by claiming the line of control is no longer active. All one can advise the author is that he should make his stance on such issues less confusing.

  38. Author is taking the shield behind figures of mere two years which are in consequential in the span of more than twenty years history of militancy in J&K state. Is he a proponent to the theory of lifting AFSPA?
    Militant activities do not necessarily match the ceasefire violations. Militants don’t coordinate their activities by the figures. They will act and cause maximum damage at the time when you are not expecting it to happen.
    The fact of decapitation of Indian soldier cannot be justified by giving misleading figures or twisting them as per convenience. Nation wants justification from the J&K government or the author. Do they have any ?
    Perpetrators of militancy sitting in Pakistan will never make announcements before carrying out major damage and destruction in the state. They will keep pot boiling and open the tap whenever they desire.

  39. If wishes were statistics, then Mr Ajai Shukla would be leading a cavalry charge in his atypical cavalier attitude. These kind of articles leave one with an acrid taste, as it involves casting aspersion on the figures given by the esteemed Indian Army and giving credence to those being bandied by the J&K Police, an organization whose professionalism leaves much to be desired.
    Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of modus operandi of militants would be aware that they don’t assume gargantuan proportions just after infiltration. Any militant takes about a month to 45 days to become activated. There cannot and there will never be any consonance in the figures of ceasefire violations and violence in the valley. Every militant also does not have a deathwish. Moreover, there are sleeper cells active in the valley as well from where militants are likely to orchestrate surreptitious incidents of violence and retreat into the cells.
    Then there is also the very overt agenda of J&K political dispensation to suitably create rhetoric in favour of removal of AFSPA. Surcharging the atmospherics by release of such figures of decline of militancy is only going to create a morass we could do without. And definitely Ajai Shukla is not going to don the uniform to combat the militants or Pak Army and I am sure that he never did so in his service career.

  40. Ajai Sorry to say, but your last few articles are pro pakistani & anti India. Hard to believe that an ex service men says do not take revenge for our brave hearts beheadings.
    I have lost faith in your blog

  41. Cdr T Sarkar (IN, Retd.)19 January 2013 at 10:23

    Dear Ajai,

    About a century ago in 1918, Spanish flu epidemic swept worldwide and killing 20-50 Million people worldwide.

    Today, by the grace of God, human race suffers less from such epidemics, because of Improved Public Healthcare & more importantly, Improved Civic Utilities like Water Works, Sanitation & other services.

    Without Public Healthcare or Civic Utilities personnel on the job worldwide, we would be at the mercy of diseases.

    Your article states that terrorism has declined in J&K. Your article gives the impression that because the number of reported incidents have fallen, the terrorism virus has become benign, the terrorism virus carriers/sponsors have become docile, and that the Security Services are overreacting by raising public alarm on the terrorism virus.

    That is drawing an incorrect conclusion. The reason for the decline in terrorism incidents is because Security Forces on the job have become more efficient and not because the terrorism virus has become benign.

    Just like the flu virus has mutated into more lethal strains like H1N1, terrorism has mutated into gruesome beheadings. Nor has the terrorism sponsors, like flu virus carriers, become any less active.

    Your article is analogous to blaming Public Healthcare or Civic Utilities personnel for raising alarm on H1N1 virus by saying the casualties are not on the scale of the Spanish Flu of 1918, hence there is no cause for concern.

    The beheadings are the gruesome reminder of the dangers of State Sponsored Terrorism virus & its carriers. It will be only to our peril if we underestimate the virus & do not take strong corrective measures to exterminate the virus.

    Cdr T Sarkar (IN, Retd.)

  42. Colonel Shukla

    Now that the militancy is going down, do we need army on the LOC at all?

  43. After reading the article, for a second I seriously thought someone might have hacked your blogger account and wrote some crap... I wish this was the case, as I always enjoy reading your articles but this one made me sad or rather angry I would say..

  44. Don't know if shukla would let this comment be posted , I'm copy pasting from of Group Captain Shri Hari Nair (retd.) , the current test pilot of Light Combat Helicopter :

    I absolutely agree here. Col Shukla's article was quite a shocker.
    I wonder if that blessed officer is reading all this.
    He seems to have allowed his analytical senses to take leave when he wrote that bit.
    And that is being quoted by the foreign media (and even some local ignoramuses) to establish this is the way-of-life at the LoC. Its okay if the enemy sneaks in and beheads a couple of soldiers... its not worth a response really...
    I suppose he may be somewhat proud of his seminal work of "impartial journalistic research".
    Its Aman-ki-Ashaa after all you see.. the honour and dignity of our soldiers notwithstanding.
    Hard to believe that this is from an ex-Commanding Officer of an Armoured Corps regiment.
    I have a couple of frank suggestions for Col Ajay Shukla -
    -please remove that pic of yours in uniform from your blog. You definitely do not do the uniform of the Army proud.
    -Rename your blog to something else more appropriate than "Broadsword".
    That's definitely not you sir.
    And I am ashamed to have known you or even spoken to you in a couple of interviews.
    Shame & Disgrace!

  45. As somebody said....Statistics are like a bikini....what they reveal is essential, but what they conceal is vital.....Shuklaji has already pre-judged the Army's claim on the LOC (many readers of this blog can figure out his bias against the army).....Since we have not seen the entire set of numbers, there cannot be any independent verification that what Shukla is analyzing and presenting here is true....Also, one should bear in mind that J&K government's report would have been prepared and sanctioned by the state politicians before getting released...I will not bet on its objectivity...However, the army's report is the work of a professional is far more credible.....Also, 72 militants getting killed in India means that the terrorist threat is still very credible....imagine if somebody told US president Obama that there are 72 Al Qaida fighters in US, then Pakistan Amry would be quaking in its pants!

  46. Am completely amazed at the utter irrationality of so many of the comments that have been posted above.

    Are people actually arguing that there is no relationship between militant infiltration on the LoC, and the level of militant activity in the hinterland?

    Are these people actually saying that lots of militants are infiltrating, but they're not doing any activity in Kashmir once they have infiltrated?

    Are they arguing that militants are infiltrating for a holiday in Kashmir? And that, since they can't take the flight from Delhi or the bus from Jammu, they now infiltrate into Kashmir for their vacations.

    Are you really arguing that ceasefire violations have nothing to do with infiltration, even as the army itself argues that most ceasefire violations are really covering fire for militant infiltration?

    So, to spell out your ill-considered argument, ceasefire violations are going up, which means there is more infiltration. But all these extra militants infiltrating across the LoC are obviously coming for a vacation, since militant activity inside Kashmir is declining dramatically!

    Wow! I'm surprised anyone would publicly make such an argument.

    You know, one of the reasons why the army has no internal reform or correctives is because there are too many rah-rah boys and girls, both inside the army and apologists who don't ask the hard questions and demand the hard steps that are needed to keep this fine organization in growth mode.

    If you don't have the courage to ask the hard questions, step aside when those questions are asked by someone with more courage than you. Let the army answer.

    Incidentally, the J&K Police, which so many of you criticize so heavily, has taken far greater casualties in proportional terms than the army and is delivering far better results in terms of intelligence gathering and counter-militant operations than the army is.

    And, as anyone with even elementary knowledge of counter-insurgency knows, the contest is eventually won not by sustaining armed force (which India can do indefinitely) but by building up institutions that are manned (and womanned) by people from within the counter-insurgency area. The J&K Policy is one such organization.

    1. Could you please tell us your entire CI/CT experience,truth seaker?

  47. Ajai this is with respect to your aboce comment. Pl understand something.

    Agreed the terrorists are not coming on a vacation. But increased infiltration need not immediately translate into viuolence increase. terrorist tactics have changed. they are noe scared to take on the Army & Security forces. When was the last time you heard of a fidayeen attack on Army post? Or a terrorist taking on an army patrol?

    Direct contacts have decreased. But dont let that fool you. they are still there. The killings of sarpanches should convince you of that. That they can up the ante anytime is a known fact. would you agree with that!

    So to say that J&K govt says this so army must be lying is a very irrational deduction. You dont question the state govt figures so by what right do you question the army's?. Let me upgrade your knowledge. there is an organisation called MAC which has representatives from all security and intelligence agencies and state govt. they meet on monthly basis and compare their inputs. Infiltration inputs and figures are discussed and a broad consensus arrived at. the consequential figure then becomes the accepted figure for all including the state govt. why dont you ask the state govt to give its figures of infiltration?? they will be same as the army's OK

    I write as an informed fauzi

  48. Good argument Ajai -- the Internet lets empty-headed nationalists of all stripes mouth off, and apparently facts and figures are of no relevance to these emotional, fragile folks in desperate need of a hug by Arnab Goswami.

  49. Shuklaji

    I am JUST a Civilian
    but I wonder HOW could a RETIRED
    COLONEL could not understand the
    significance of the above data

    The militants who do manage to sneak in are lying LOW for the moment

    They are TROJAN HORSES waiting for 2014

    The Army's JOB is to ensure that
    TERRITORY of J and K remains with India

    But the TERRITORY of J and K can
    ONLY be taken by PAKISTAN when there is a PINCER ATTACK

    Post 2014 LOC will be STORMED

    And Internally these terrorists who are lying LOW will strike

  50. you said:

    You know, one of the reasons why the army has no internal reform or correctives is because there are too many rah-rah boys and girls, both inside the army and apologists who don't ask the hard questions and demand the hard steps that are needed to keep this fine organization in growth mode.

    Othe other way round is also true. Whenever Army takes hard decisions after due deliberations there are many rah rahs like you who call it "Mandalisation".

    Courage has to be picked up for right things and not for engineering revolts and demotivate.

    Institutions like J&K police has to be brought up by strengthening them and building their capacities and not by sowing seeds of differences, and not at all by telling that IA Generals are a bunch of liers. Not for for being the state guest of Omar or guest of Gilani..

    On top of that you are pontificating. Courage has to be blended with morality otherwise dacoits too have courage.

  51. Tsk tsk Man,you sold out.

  52. "The J&K Policy is one such organization"

    Shukla, probably you were frothing with anger when you posted your rebuttal. You actually meant J&K Police instead you posted "J&K Policy".

    At least stop frothing dear while posting your REBUTTAL. We all know anger is your birth right so we will not ask you to moderate it, but buddy frothing is bad.

    Shukla your figure and by others like SATP just reveal one side of coin and that is "THE LULLL BEFORE THE STORM". With active withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan will create incidents and events in India that will take away attention from Afghanistan and itself. It will revive Jehad in Kashmir so that it gets time to reorganize its strategic depth in Afghanistan. So assets that it had inserted will be active from mid-year 2013 and will be in full color by 2014.

    So shut-up your crap and let Army do its job. This is a broad chess game and peaceniks like you have so easily played into hands of enemy strategists.

    Pakistan can only be stopped and forced to reverse its state sponsored terrorism by coercion and asymmetry of strategy and technology. Where you Peaceniks or Track-II fit well is "Buying Time".
    Currently, likes of you "AMAN KI ASHA" are rather "Wasting Time".

    And yes i am Anonymous by my choice, so no need to create a scene about it. I welcome your reply, but it should have substance of strategy and factors not included in your article. Please forbid yourself from frothing your choicest homilies.

    Both Indian Army and MOD (GOI) are very mature and are in fact growing in intellect and bringing change (remember dextrous handling of last COAS's episode, even when it was extremely embarrassing for GOI - they never let haste take over strategic gains. Firing Army's own COAS would have been disastrous for INA's morale).

  53. Lori Geiger ( Nashville,TN)20 January 2013 at 01:38

    The only way for India to make progress is for it to be divided into a number of states based on community,caste & religion . Homogenous countries make progress as is evident by the success of US , EU and China . Countries like India , Pakistan will continue to remain 3rd world in the forseeable future unless they are further divided

  54. so the you are joining the chorus to remove AFSPA right..???
    Great, indeed so much drama going on...!!!

  55. "Are you really arguing that ceasefire violations have nothing to do with infiltration, even as the army itself argues that most ceasefire violations are really covering fire for militant infiltration?

    So, to spell out your ill-considered argument, ceasefire violations are going up, which means there is more infiltration. But all these extra militants infiltrating across the LoC are obviously coming for a vacation, since militant activity inside Kashmir is declining dramatically!

    Wow! I'm surprised anyone would publicly make such an argument."

    Just when you think you cannot amaze anyone any more you pull out a new one. And you talk about ill-considered arguments! Wow!

    Lets just examine what your wrote, ceasefire violations have gone up (Army claim) and ceasefire violations are an attempt to infiltrate terrorists (again Army claim)

    Against this you claim that there's no corresponding increase in J&K police figures?

    Hain Ji, didn't it even occur to you that it quite possible that, due to the Army's strong response, many of those attempts at infiltration was FOILED?

    Didn't ever cross your mind that, perhaps, its a vicious cycle that's happening on the LoC? That is there are increased ceasefire violations and firing due to the fact that Pakistan's attempts at infiltrating militants are failing much more frequently than before and hence they are becoming desperate.

    At the same time because they are failing (that is infiltration attempts) there's a corresponding fall in the J&K police figures?

    Do you realise there is an inversely proportional relation to the ceasefire violation/cross border firing/terrorist infiltration and J&K Police encounters?

    Sorry Colonel (Rtd) ji, you're a bad advertisement for the Army - not because you criticise them but because if this is the analytical ability of the officer cadre... Sigh!

  56. You are an idiot Ajai. If army is taken out today and replaced by J&K police whole of kashmir will be with Pakistan in no time.

  57. If finding Truth is about taking perception, then I must say Ajai, you lost already. There are too many comments against your perception.

    If finding Truth is about data based analysis, well then you have only given a snapshot of what you want truth to be.

    Beacuse of that the one big miss in this analysis is you are looking at just two years of the past to predict the future, when one should be going all way back to the Great Game plyed in Afghan.

    So let me ask what will happen after 2014 when US withdraws from Afghan? Once the Afghan is secured by the Taliban, where do they then go for the fight?

    Now you could reply saying you are not trying to predeict the future. But your intention is all about reducing the miltary's say on the peace process with Pakistan and give more voice to the Track 2 team.

    When the shit hits the fan some guys run but some guys stay. And when the shit hits again, it would only be the military that will stay; not the politicians, not the track 2 peace process team and especially not you, but the military.

  58. Ajai sahib,
    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my earlier comment.
    I don't know what to make of your assertion that J&K police has taken more causalities. If the discussion is about numbers, then can you explain how many of J&K police fatalities have been due to terrorist activities and how many due to normal policing work ? If you'd see the composition of J&K police personnel involved in counter-terrorist operation, you may be in for a bit of surprise. K part of J&K has very little representation in counter-terror operations. When Kashmiri Hindus suffered violence and exodus, it was due to active inaction and indirect support from the K part. When BSF was deployed in counter-terror ops, they had to fight on two fronts, 1 being terrorists and 2nd being the K police. I assume that you must have quite a few friends involved in J&K operations. You can confirm whatever I'm saying.

    I accept terrorism is one the wane now, but it was nearly dead in 2002-2004 too. All it took was support of terrorist sympathisers in govt, Muftis and some others in NC to get revived again. If your point is that army is lying for whatever reason and Kashmir dominated state machinery is doing good work in combating terrorism, the I must say that you are wrong. Army needs to stay here and so does AFSPA. Running these hatchet jobs is confusing and leaves a bad taste. J&K police simply doesn't have motivation, training, will or power to combat terrorism.

  59. bang on target col shukla!!As someone who has been in the thick of CI ops I fully concur with your analysis.

  60. Safe to conclude Shukla's integrity which was questionable till recently has been thoroughly compromised. Maybe a KISS too many from the 'revered' Geelani saheb.

  61. Ajai, I saw your response, and I don't know if you are really dumb or acting like it.

    This is what you responded:

    "So, to spell out your ill-considered argument, ceasefire violations are going up, which means there is more infiltration. But all these extra militants infiltrating across the LoC are obviously coming for a vacation, since militant activity inside Kashmir is declining dramatically! "

    Ceasefire violations doesn't mean infiltration took place, it means the infiltration was attempted. And not all infiltration attempts succeed depending on how the IA on LoC responded. So out of 10 ceasefire violations, one might have succeeded and 2 militans sneaked in, so let us assume they were killed in some operation in J&K later on. Are you now saying that IA is falsely reporting 10 LoC ceasefire violations as only 2 militans were killed? Come on, don't take your readers to be that dumb!

    Don't be so desperate for a Padma award, or is it the greenbacks calling??

  62. The comments on the thread shows why we as a nation are where we are. There is no stomach for a differing opinion. Not only that, casting aspersions takes up more space than actual rebuttal. I generally keep quiet but had to write this to let you know that your posts, even unsavory ones are appreciated.

  63. if infiltration attempts have increased along the LOC but violence in the valley has decreased, then this is troubling news. This can mean that the enemy has broadened its view... kashmir is not their aim now. maybe now infiltrators are ordered to lie in wait all across india...ordered to train, recruite and maybe even provide any sort of help to the naxalites.

  64. What boss. inconvenient comments not being posted/hosted????

    An informed fauzi

  65. Nice article sir,

    Don't know if I completely agree.....You know (truth, lies & statistics). However it is always patriotic to hold institutions to account, security apparatus / services included. Your arguments seem logical and should be food for thought for policy makers and people with outer arguments. All the hard line nationalists commenting should take a breath.

  66. I have always sided with your rational statements Col, even the media overreacting to an extent on the beheading and possible influence on peace process therefore, But in this case I feel the thoughts as on "Anon 20 January 2013 16:18" are no where considered in the article, and the figures you refer to by the Army so not actually speak of massive differences in the number of militants in J&K, but infiltration attempts, success or stopped, and like what happened in the case of Bomb blasts in rest of the country, on that strikes with significance is of the sleeper cells that were activated in Mysore, by terrorists who were lying low for almost 3 years or more, this is just an example, I would expect you have more informed and better examples than this.
    There would be no shame to making a second attempt at rationalizing the article again with these inputs and point of view and get a ad joiner, correction or a part two and I'm sure people will appreciate it. I'm saying this because unlike other articles, on this one when you have come back to comment on feedback, it's only made your point of view weaker and there is no substance in the replies provided, seems to ignore the actual point of view that should be, while you say you are presenting the facts, it still looks very incomplete and directed against the Army, I don't think that is the intention here, is it.
    So lets fill in the blanks and get this right and balanced.
    We still believe in you.

  67. Mr Shukla,

    You don't seem to explain why the Army will fudge the figures of Cease fire violations. Also what in your view is the threshold of killings to say that militancy has reduced. My threshold is 0. No professional force worth its while will do justice to the profession unless it expects zero foreign infiltration across its borders. The army is doing its job please don't concoct conspiracy theories here. If you have evidence that Army is fudging data then please present it otherwise your post is pure slander.

  68. I must say i'm disappointed Col. Shukla is talking like this. Used to be a fan. Man you sold out bigtime or have lost your marbles completely comparing apples and oranges. Even a civilian like me can see that increased ceasefire violations being caught means there has been an improvement in patrolling on the Indian side and hence the corresponding reduction in militant activity in J&K. Surprising that an army man would read these statistics the way Col. Shukla did.


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