Here we go again. The dithering of our political establishment never stops.
NEW DELHI: Left to itself, the Army would like to finish off Ulfa once and for all. But with the government still keeping the door slightly open for peace talks, the Army strategy is to exert operational pressure on the insurgent outfit to give up violence and come to the negotiating table.
The Army is justifiably concerned that Ulfa might once again use any lull in counter-insurgency operations to regroup and re-arm itself, like it has done several times in the past.
Ulfa, for instance, was on its last legs after facing the brunt of “Operation All Clear”, conducted in coordination with the Bhutanese Army in December 2003, with its cadre strength being reduced to one-third from around 2,000 at that time.
But the subsequent peace talks between the Centre and the Ulfa-nominated People’s Consultative Group, which resulted in “a go-slow” directive to the Army, gave the banned outfit a fresh lease of life.
Ulfa, in fact, used the 42-day “ceasefire” in August-September last year to get more arms and ammunition from Thailand through gun-runners based in Bangladesh and Myanmar, apart from recruiting 150-200 activists to raise its cadre strength to over 1,000.
Meanwhile, the Army has now got “intelligence inputs” that Ulfa, which has a “deep nexus” with Pakistan’s ISI and its Bangladeshi counterpart DGFI, has re-established some camps along the tri-junction of Arunachal, Assam and Bhutan borders.
Though Myanmar is receptive to Indian worries about North-East insurgent groups operating from its soil and has already begun to take some action, Bangladesh has so far rejected such concerns with extreme disdain(Why did we save their ass in 1971 from the paki vultures, i wonder -Ed).