Terrorism in India – UPSC GS3

  • According to the Country Report on Terrorism released by the US State Department, India witnessed third highest number of terrorist attacks in 2016, more than Pakistan.
  • The number of terrorist attacks in India in 2016 has increased by 16% and total number of deaths also has increased by 17%.
  • More than half of the terrorist attacks in India in 2016 took place in four states: Jammu and Kashmir (19%), Chhattisgarh (18%), Manipur (12%) and Jharkhand (10%).
The Qingdao declaration calls for implementing three-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism. The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit concluded with the adoption of the Qingdao declaration.


India considers the expanding footprint of extremist and terror organisations in Pakistan, and their link with various terror activities  in India, as a major security challenge. In this regard, what are all the  options that India has pursued to address this security challenge? Critically evaluate them. (200 Words)
  1. Pakistan distinguishes b/w Good and Bad terrorism. Good terrorism is considered as a tool along with army, ISI to fight with India.
  2. Many terrorist organizations based in Pak (mostly operating from POK, Punjab region prominent of them are LET, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammat-Ud-dawa etc.)
  3. Another angle: Increasingly Taliban now expanding its footprints in Pak which may destabilize whole of south Asia. So again an emerging great challenge for India. As Taliban is ideologically extremist organization.
  4. Link of Indian terrorist organizations like Indian Mujahidin, SIMI to Pakistan– Training, funds, motivation etc.
India’s efforts to tackle this emerging security challenge :
  1. Stepped up Internal security especially after Mumbai (26/11) like Indian Coast Guard, NIA, More wings of NSG, Yearly State Police chiefs meet specially discuss all these emerging challenges so state-state cooperation is very important that’s why the need of NCTC emerges.
  2. Border Area Development: Border Fencing, More effective watch on infiltration,
  3. Checking extremism in Natives: — Through special welfare programs for surrendered native terrorists (Himayat- J&K).
  4. Defence cooperation and intelligence sharing like US.
Criticism of India’s approach in tackling the situation:
  1. Even after all these measures India has failed to tackle terror incidents in country. Our approach has been post terror management instead of mitigation. Porous borders with Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar provides safe passage to Pak based terrorists in India to carry out terror operations.
  2. Link of J&K Terror groups with Pak: still 100s of terrorists are hiding in Sopore, Bandipore (South Kashmir especially) which intermittently attack on Indian security establishment. Recent attack on a Colonel is testimony to it. Hundreds of our jawan dies every year in such covert operations.
Solution :
  1. More effective approach, better intelligence sharing b/w security agencies, modern tools with security agencies.
  2. International pressure on Pak to stop such covert activities.
  3. More aggressive postures on border what Modi govt. is currently doing (i.e. Peace from the position of strength


Critically analyse how India’s neighbors have assisted or hindered India’s efforts to curb terrorist activities of state and non-state actors affecting its internal security. (200 Words)
Both internal as well as external territorial boundaries of India face security challenges in the form of Naxalism, separatism, insurgency or terrorism. In order to counter these threats, India has intensively engaged with its neighbors to seek stabilized boundaries.
Countries such as Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh have coordinate with India’s efforts in countering insurgency, drug trafficking and money laundering across the borders.  Recently, Burma displayed an attitude of cooperation in thwarting insurgents along Indo-Burma border. Likewise, Nepal has helped India in tackling violent activities of Maoists along indo-Nepal border.
However, the attitude of nations such as Pakistan and China has been cold-hearted in this regard. Despite both the countries wrangling with threats of terrorism in some form or the other and theoretically proclaiming commitments towards counterterrorism  efforts with India, yet failed to manifest credible actions in this regard.
Pakistan, even to this day has taken no significant investigation and prosecuting process to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to the book and instead released its mastermind, Rehman Lakhvi on bail. Moreover, it is frequently engaged in ceasefire violations along the borders.
Likewise, china too, in spite of condemning terrorism in all forms has recently supported Pakistan action of lakvi release. Also, its incursions into the borders along Arunachal, issuing staple visas all reflect its dubious stand regarding security cooperation.
Thus, India should raise these ambiguous stand of her neighbors at international forums to articulate security interests and persuade them to take responsive step towards counter-terrorism initiatives
Steps taken by Government:
India has agreed to join the Global Terror Database which is being maintained by the Terrorist Screening Centre of the U.S. It is a consolidated list of terrorists which will include their biometric details along with the other details of those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in a terrorist activity.
Related Questions:
  1. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. (UPSC Mains 2016)
  2. “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyze the above statement. (UPSC Mains 2016)

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