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The Poonch Terror Challenge

GS 3 Internal Security

In News

  • Recent ambush on an Army truck in Poonch claimed the lives of five personnel.
  • Three other significant incidents, including the Poonch incident, have occurred within kilometres of each other in the Rajouri-Poonch region over the past six months.
  • This incident emphasizes the significance of securing the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir’s overall terrorist threat.

The terror challenge in the region:

Targeting Jammu after decades

  •  After nearly two decades, transnational terrorists have once again set their sights on Jammu, possibly in the hopes of exploiting its overtly communal atmosphere.

Support from local communities

  •  Their ability to carry out these assaults and then vanish into the surrounding forests is indicative of the support of local communities, which have been hostile to the presence of both foreign and Kashmiri militants since approximately 2000.

Proximity to the LoC

  •  The terrain, the target’s proximity to the LoC, and the population diversity make the area more vulnerable; terrorist organizations seek to exploit this vulnerability.

Background events

  • In light of the rapidly approaching dates of two international events – the G20 Tourism meeting in Srinagar in May and the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting in Goa, also in early May – and the ongoing global activities of Khalistan separatism, the objective could be to reduce India’s tolerance.
  • The purpose of the attack is likely to be to disrupt the event and cause it to be canceled, particularly given that the meeting is an opportunity for India to showcase an integrated Jammu and Kashmir before an influential forum.

India’s terrorism challenge:


  •  The security situation in Kashmir improved after Article 370 was repealed in terms of organized terrorism, but new challenges have emerged in the form of an increase in lone-wolf attacks and the use of drones for cross-border terrorism.

Sikh separatism

  • As the sociopolitical situation in Punjab undergoes a radical shift, the slumbering sentiments of Sikh separatism are showing signs of resurgence.

Cross-border narco-terror networks

  •  Cross-border narco-terror networks fuel an increasing trend of increased drug abuse in both Kashmir and Punjab.

Terror drones

  •  India is still inadequately outfitted to address the threat posed by terrorist drones, whose sightings increased dramatically in 2022.

Formalisation of terrorism

  •  Numerous states continue to employ armed non-state actors for their own purposes, indicating a worrisome trend toward the formalization of terrorism.

Good & bad terrorism approach

  • Pakistan’s policy of treating groups that endanger its internal security, such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as enemies and Indian-focused groups, such as Jamat ud Dawa (JuD), as allies, demonstrates its accommodating stance on terrorism.


Pragmatic approach

  • A rebalancing of focus between the northern and western borders will promote greater pragmatism and the appropriate security emphasis.
  • To address such events, the strategic community and the media must play a larger and more pragmatic role.

Need of coordinated efforts

  • There is a distinct need for counter-terrorism agencies across the globe to exchange intelligence and tactics in a more coordinated manner.

No good or bad terrorism

  •  World leaders should not regard some terrorists as good and others as bad based on the preferences of individual nations.

Reactivating the proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)

  •  The next step is to reactivate the proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which has been put on pause, and to finalize the list of items required to combat terrorism worldwide.
  • In the 1990s, India first proposed this idea.
  •  Once the United Nations accepts the CCIT, the war on terror will take on new significance.

Newer patterns of terror

  • The world must assess the emergence of new forms of terrorism, such as ‘enabled terrorism’ and’remote control terrorism.
  • Remote control terrorism: violence devised and directed by controllers thousands of miles away, highlighting the dangers of Internet-facilitated terrorism.
  • Experts in counter-terrorism will once again need to expand their knowledge to accommodate multi-domain operations and terror “gaming,” both of which have become essential in the modern era.

India’s efforts in combating terrorism:

Acts & agencies

Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System

  •  It greatly enhances the ability of the Border Security Force (BSF) to detect and control transnational crimes such as illegal infiltration, contraband smuggling, human trafficking, and transnational terrorism, etc.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

  •  It allows for more effective prevention of certain illegal activities by individuals and organizations, as well as for coping with terrorist activities and related matters.

National Investigation Agency

  • It is India’s anti-terrorist task force and has the authority to investigate terror-related offenses across states without the states’ permission.

Policy of Zero-Tolerance Against Terrorism

  •  India calls for a zero-tolerance policy toward terrorism and prioritizes the development of a unified strategy to combat it.

India’s action plan at UNSC

  • On the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1373 in January 2021, India presented an eight-point action plan to combat the scourge of terrorism.
  • Invoking the political will to combat terrorism without hesitation.
  • Condemning hypocrisy in the struggle against terrorism.
  • Reform of the working methodologies of the Sanctions and Counter-Terrorism Committees.
  • Discourage vehemently exclusive thought that divides the world and undermines the social fabric.
  • Listing and delisting individuals and entities under UN sanctions regimes objectively, without regard to political or religious factors.
  • Fully recognizing and addressing the connection between transnational organized crime and terrorism.
  • Combating financing of terrorism.
  • Immediate consideration of adequate funding for UN Anti-Terrorism bodies from the regular UN budget.

Way ahead

  •  By virtue of India’s chairmanship of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which focuses on extensive Counter-Terrorism cooperation through its Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), India can assume the leading role in combating terrorist threats.

Daily Mains Question

[Q] Analyze the significance of safeguarding Jammu and Kashmir’s border districts in addressing the overall terrorist threat in the region. How can India assume the leadership role in combating global terrorism?