Transforming the Frontlines: Army Explores Extended Command Tours for Counter-Terror Operations
- Posted on May 9, 2023
- By Top Stories
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The military is expressing apprehension regarding potential acts of terrorism by banned organizations operating from Pakistan in the Nagrota region, specifically targeting the 16 Corps area, particularly the Poonch-Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir. This concern has persisted since 2021.
To address this concern, the Indian Army is contemplating the implementation of extended tenures for senior field commanders in regions affected by terrorist activities and insurgencies. The objective is to motivate these commanders to take proactive measures against the enemy instead of waiting for their next higher command assignment.
By granting them longer durations in such challenging areas, the Army aims to encourage prompt action and deter any terrorist threats effectively.
The Army Headquarters is reportedly considering a plan to extend the tenure of Divisional Commanders and Corps Commanders in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast. The proposed extension aims to allow these field commanders to concentrate on their vital counter-terrorist responsibilities without the distraction of awaiting their next promotion. This move intends to enhance their focus and effectiveness in dealing with the challenging security situations in these areas.
According to reliable sources from South Block, the military units involved in counterterrorist and counter-insurgency operations, namely Corps led by Lieutenant Generals, Divisions led by Major Generals, and Brigades led by Brigadiers, will now serve for a period of 15 to 18 months before being reassigned.
The emphasis will shift from a cautious approach aimed at securing future promotions to a focus on taking decisive action against cross-border infiltration and jihadist activities in and around the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This change in mindset aims to evaluate officers based on their proactive measures against these threats.
The Indian Army is facing a security threat from Pakistan-based terror groups in the Poonch-Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir, specifically in the Nagrota-based 16 Corps area. Two incidents on April 20 and May 5 resulted in the deaths of 10 Indian Army soldiers, including four elite Special Forces members.
The leadership's actions and adherence to standard operating procedures are under review, and the cautious approach of field commanders has been noticed by senior officials. The Indian Army is currently engaged in a conflict with two groups of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists belonging to the Sajjid Jutt module, who are operating in the Kandi Forests of Rajouri.
Armed terrorists with under-barrel grenade launchers and assault rifles are using Pakistan's mobile network coverage across the Line of Control (LoC) to carry out attacks in India. Pakistan has built high-powered mobile towers along the international border and LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, which have operational ranges within Indian territory.
Pakistani terror groups, with support from the Pak Army, are also using drones to send weapon shipments to local terrorists in J&K, causing chaos in the South Kashmir region.
There has been a recent outbreak of violence in the Poonch-Rajouri sector, which some suspect may be a deliberate attempt by Pakistan to disrupt the upcoming G20 meeting in Srinagar from May 22-24. Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari's recent threats towards India at the SCO FMs Meeting in Goa on May 4-5 have raised concerns about their intentions.
In response to the situation, the Indian Army, security forces, and intelligence agencies have taken on Pakistan's challenge and are determined to seek retribution for the deaths of Indian troops in the Rajouri sector. Military leaders have been instructed to root out any terrorists operating in the area.
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