Five army personnel, including one JCO, attained martyrdom in a 30-hour long fierce gun fight with Pakistani terrorists of Jaish-e-Muhammad group that carried out an attack on the Sunjuwan army camp close to the main part of the city of Jammu. All the three Pakistani fidayeen who led the attack have been eliminated in the operation. This is the second terrorist attack on this camp; the previous one had been made in 2003.
The terrorist group appears to have made thorough reconnaissance of their target before they carried out the attack. They found entry into the camp from the backside of family quarters by somehow negotiating the boundary wall presuming that the spot was less monitored. They are the fidayeen of Jaish-e- Muhammad, of Pakistan known for close links with Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban. Jaish is considered the steel arm of ISI and the fidayeen group of JeM receives training in special training camps oriented along Haqqani group. It will be remembered that Pakistani terrorist groups have been targeting Army, BSF or Police camps and establishments ever since armed insurgency emerged in the State.
The attackers have demonstrated their rank cowardice by entering the camp from the backside of family quarters knowing that the spot is less monitored by the forces. Furthermore, by attacking families and children, they have proved they are barbarians and not human beings. The great concern of the army in eliminating the terrorists was to ensure that no collateral damage was done. In a heroic bid, the army managed to take out the families to a safer place with minimal damage of six persons including one woman and the daughter of the JCO getting wounded. Usually when attacks like this happen on a fortified army camp, the question that comes to fore pertains to security lapse. In the case of Sunjuwan attack also such questions will be raised. The intelligence reports had warned of a possible attack on 9th of February being the anniversary of hanging of Afzal Guru who was given death sentence for his direct involvement in the attack on the Parliament. The forewarning from the intelligence chapters should have prompted the camp authorities to ensure foolproof security of the camp and the family quarters there. How come that the backside of the camp was left without proper security surveillance? It is unimaginable. It is also to be mentioned that despite exhortations by the Governor, security audit has not been conducted which could have brought out the shortfalls in the security of camps and installations. It would have also reflected on the location of the camps and the feasibility or otherwise of the civilian residential around the military sites.
Evidently, a probe will be ordered by the Defence Ministry into the incident for future guidance of the army. Among several things, the enquiry will focus on wherefrom reaching Jammu and the targeted site. We have numerous instances of Pakistani jihadis sneaking into our side from both the LoC and the International Border. The enquiry will also focus on the place and house where the terrorists stayed and chalked out their plan after making secret survey and inspection of the camp. No surmises can be made before the full report on all aspects of attack is brought to light.
There has been widespread condemnation of the attack as cowardly and inhuman. Many leaders of national stature have voiced criticism and condemnation of Pakistani attack in Sunjuwan.
Attacks like these from our enemy remind us that we have to remain united and determined in defending our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have to stand behind our armed forces and its heroes like a solid rock and frustrate enemy’s attempts of dealing a blow to our unity. Pakistan stands isolated in the comity of nations just because she has allowed her land to become home of dreaded terror to be exported to other countries particularly the neighbouring countries of India and Afghanistan. United States of America, a country which at one point of time in the history of her relations with Pakistan considered her an ally more than aligned has recently labelled it as a country of “deceit and lies”. But what we need to do is to improve our national security, plug the loopholes and make it totally impossible for infiltrators to sneak in and create disturbance and undertake strong and nationwide campaign for unity and solidarity with the Government.