The audacious terrorist strike in Kashmir in which eight jawans have been killed and 19 injured came on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Jammu & Kashmir which is not a coincidence. Quite clearly this attack was deliberately planned so as to disrupt the prime minister’s visit and his engagement with the local population. Expectations from the prime minister were high in Jammu and Kashmir in part because his visits to the state have been rare. The visit in itself was a confidence building measure which has now been derailed. The terrorist attack has shifted the focus from the constructive projects for which the prime minister was on a visit to the state to the militancy. The attack has been claimed by the pro-Pakistan militant outfit known as the Hizbul Mujahideen, which shows that it is still alive and kicking in the state despite the setbacks suffered by it in the last year. The attack demonstrates that the militancy in the region has not been stamped out but continues to rear its head. This year alone there have been several terrorist attacks, with them having stormed a CRPF camp in Bemina area of Srinagar city in March, killing five troopers and injuring 10 others. In April militants ambushed four police personnel near the Haigam locality along the Sopore-Kupwara road in Baramulla District while four Army personnel were killed in an encounter with militants in village Buchoo located in Pulwama District in May.
Though the last year had seen a decline in militancy, the number of deaths of Indian security personnel has risen this year as compared to that of the militants, a reversal from what was seen in previous years. There appears to have been a deliberate strategy by militants this year to carry out more audacious and better-planned attacks on Indian security forces . There has also been no let up in the infiltration bid, and, in the last six months, these have witnessed a spurt, particularly since the melting of the snows. Cross-border terrorism continues with there having been over 40 attempts by Pakistan-trained terrorists along the LoC already.