Fifteen years ago on November 26, 2008, a handful of terrorists came through the sea route from Pakistan and unleashed mayhem on the streets of Mumbai, leaving the entire world in a state of shock. It is said that injuries heal, scars remain. In the case of 26/11 terror attacks, the repeated terror attacks on India and other parts of the world ensure that the injuries refuse to heal. The most recent incident being the gruesome terror attacks on Israel by Hamas.
Sudden but vicious attack by Hamas on Israel early morning on October 7 woke up the world with utter dismay and grief. It was a well-planned attack employing all the three services i.e. ground, air and naval force. This diabolic attack came as an utter surprise without any provocation.
This attack on Israel by Hamas induces us to draw parallel with the horrific 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, incurring casualties both civilian and security personnel though at a much lesser scale. While recounting the tragedy that befell on Mumbai and one could not help but look at the similarities with the Hamas’ terror attack on Israel. Both were State-sponsored.
Similarities are: unexpected attack as there were no major disturbances in the relations between both the adversaries, there was apparent peace, intelligence failure, state funded terrorism and last but not the least human tragedy.
But the difference is in the magnitude of human suffering which is unimaginable. On the very first day, Israel suffered about 1200 dead, 240 taken as hostages and at least 5132 were wounded. On the Palestinian side over 13000, maybe more by now, have been killed and countless people are out in the streets, living in the open practically without any aid or buried under rubble.
The Hamas group is committed to armed resistance against Israel and the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel's place. Hamas has been the de facto governing body in the Gaza Strip since 2007, when it ousted the Palestinian authority from power.
Expectedly, the Israeli establishment hunted down its attackers from across the border, unlike India, which opted against using military force. Although in recent times, India has staged counter-attacks by crossing the Line of Control and destroying the terror camps, these are only short-term reactions. The fact remains that the terror attacks on India are continuing unabated.
This is happening because in India, the heads of defence Services are not part of the core strategy making team. Their expertise is underutilised. It is yet to be seen the Indian government forming any high power body, with members from defence forces. It is very important to institute a strategic security body with the task of continuously evaluating world security scenarios and update the relevant domestic policies accordingly.
The Indian government must roll out a long-time strategic anti-terror plan and stick to it. However, while so many terrorist groups are functioning world over, it may be practically impossible to keep track of the activities of each group.
Also, as the attacks on Israel shows, it is not possible for any one country to fight terror alone. Unless the world as a body takes a decision to stop the State-sponsored terrorism and realise that it is a losing game as each side ultimately bears tremendous man and material losses, such kind of acts shall continue. The top heads of so called terrorist groups get enormous funds from undisclosed sources and live a luxurious life. It is the common man who suffers.
Nevertheless, what is needed is a solid no-nonsense policy and reaction to make the terrorist group and the sponsoring countries accountable for their actions and make them realise that playing this game is costly.
In the end, India must learn from Israel how to retaliate! Once getting over the initial shock it has gone all out with a full declaration of finishing Hamas once for all no matter if there are pauses in between. They have declared Hamas a terrorist group where no boundary or international accords matter. They have ignored all the browbeating by most of the powerful countries. Only the US are steadfast in its support.
Why can’t we do something like this? We are still basking with Balakot glory. Only a few days back, we have lost the lives of two precious young officers and men in J&K. If the total human loss incurred so far, if counted, the figure will be enormous.
J&K does not have an international boundary between India and Pakistan as both the countries declare each other’s position as occupied. So considering the political, economic and military condition of Pakistan, is it not the right time to take military action by India in a Pakistan occupied country, after giving due warning? If required we shall go deep into Kashmir, create enough depth to avoid further Indian casualties and cut Pakistan to size further.