I have been a soldier, have been in the thick of operations and have seen many of my officers and men dying in the line of duty numerous times. I have been myself exposed to death and dangers on a number of occasions. We, as a nation, have also been face to face with terrorism for a long time. We should have been able to develop a mature reaction to such terrorist incidents by now. Sadly, this does not seem to have happened. We start picking up holes in our governments, intelligence agencies and the security forces at the drop of hat. I think we need to understand the following basic facts:-
(a) It is beyond the capacity of any state to ensure that nothing happens to anybody at any time—-only a dead man can be a safe man.
(b) A desperate man with a dagger counts over fifty around him. It takes time and daring to eventually neutralise him.
(c) We, the soldiers, have chosen to live by the sword and some of us have to die by the sword. We just wish to be appreciated in some way when we do our duty well and no breast-beating of any sort in the public.
(d) It should be evident to everybody that the over-sized Pakistan Army has been beyond the control of its civilian governments all through.
Coming now to our performance, our countrymen may kindly note that we have eventually sent all the intruding ‘Fedayeen`s’ packing to hell so far and we would continue to do so. I am sure that it is infliction of adequate cost on them that would solve the problem finally. So far we have roughly accounted for four terrorists against two civilian and one armed forces` death over the years. This ratio has to improve further in our favour. Meanwhile dialogue between the two governments and the people to people contacts should not be allowed to become hostage to such incidents, engineered precisely to stop movement towards peace in the subcontinent.
(Author : Bal Krishan Karkra , Former Group Commander, N.S.G.)