Tunnels are the latest weapon in Pakistan’s terrorism agenda. Having been hammered at home and abroad, economically, politically and pretty much on every parameter that defines a Nation’s standing in the world, Pakistan wants to resort to its trump card of terror to divert the attention of its aggrieved populace. Hence, Imran Khan is crying wolf about, ‘false flag attacks’ and his Foreign Minister of imagined ‘surgical strikes’.
These hoaxes were preceded by a dummy dossier against India with much fanfare yet it got zero traction, as credibility is not something synonymous with Pakistan’s fictions. I can’t help but think of the movie, Inception. It had an incredible storyline, implanting an idea in a person’s subconscious, creating a dream within a dream!
Much like Pakistan’s inception and its insidious insinuations against India, a delusion within a delusion. It is the same delusional script being repeated since August 2019, but with a slightly different tactic, though equally nefarious is in the works. The increased ceasefire violations, overt and calculated presents a picture of on the ground offensive of the enemy. But it is what’s happening under the ground that could spring a surprise, courtesy Pakistan’s covert terror tunnels.
They have been dropping weapon caches via drones, most of them are being thwarted. It’s a simple supply and demand equation. Weapons are there, but where are the terrorists to unleash them on us? Since, the abrogation of Article 370 which was an anomaly anyway, a relic of a bygone era, crutches for the enemy outside and within to foment separatism and terrorism to ‘internationalise’ Kashmir, has severely handicapped these efforts from both sides of the border.
To add to the problems of Pakistan, India’s robust anti-infiltration grid has been very effective. But credit must be given where it’s due, an implacable enemy still is trying to find ways to penetrate our defences. It is rather embarrassing and low tech for a ‘State’ with nuclear weapons to resort to tunnelling like rats.
In August 2020, the BSF detected a tunnel just beneath the India-Pakistan international border in the Samba sector of Jammu. These tunnels are used not just for the clandestine transport of weapons and terrorists but also narcotics. The BSF has been using Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) to detect these tunnels. In November, 2020, four heavily armed JeM terrorists were neutralized in Nagrota.
In the aftermath of the encounter, a 180-200 metre long and 8 feet deep tunnel near the IB in the Samba sector was discovered. Just this week, another professionally-engineered effort to infiltrate terrorists trained in terror camps commissioned by the Pakistan army was discovered by the anti-tunnelling party of the BSF’s 173 Battalion in the Jammu region’s Kathua district. With Republic Day not far away, Pakistan wants to push on with its terror plans come inclement weather or robust Indian defences.
After watching an archaeological expedition program on Discovery Channel, I could not stop thinking about the technology they used and wondered if the same could be used or is being used at our borders. They used LIDAR mounted sensors under the base of a small two-seater plane to discover an entire hidden ancient city with clear structures, paved roads which was swallowed by dense forests and soil over many centuries. There are even drone mounted LIDARS available which are absolutely foolproof and precise in terrain mapping.
Light Detection and Ranging or LIDAR is a remote sensing technology where the environment is scanned with a pulsed laser beam and the reflection time of the signal from the object back to the detector is measured. Most of the latest UAV lidar systems can rotate around their own axis and offer 360-degree visibility. Modern devices achieve very high data rates with over one million distance points per second.
Lidar sensors work by (a) the emission of a laser pulse that (b) records a backscattered signal. Then it does (c) distance measurement (time of flight x speed of light) that lets it to (d) retrieving a plane position and altitude. This then allows (e) computation of precise echo position which allows it to give (f) a precise topographical map of any kind of terrain, with concealed natural or man-made structures.
This technology can save the lives of soldiers and civilians alike and also add more teeth to our defensive/surveillance capabilities. Pakistan will keep playing the ‘Game of Flags’, our collective resolve as a nation and our armed forces has stood us in good stead at the LAC. Pakistan fearing this may try something bold at the LoC, but in the end, the only flag it will be holding is a White Flag.