Soldiers of India's Border Security Force (BSF) stand at attention during their passing out parade in Humhama, at the outskirts of Srinagar November 24, 2012.
Fayaz Kabli / Reuters

On July 27, three gunmen in military fatigues marched into a police station in Gurdaspur, an urban district in the Indian border state of Punjab. After an 11-hour gun battle, all three terrorists were killed—but so were nine civilians and police personnel. The state had not seen any significant terrorist violence since the 1980s, when a vicious ethno-religious insurgency between Sikhs and Hindus ended. According to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, based on evidence collected from GPS devices taken from the scene, the terrorists had come from Pakistan.

Despite the successful containment of the attack—the terrorists had apparently hoped to create more mayhem in the state—the incident has once more laid bare India’s lack of a sufficient counterterrorism strategy. This is despite continued attacks from terrorists based in Pakistan, the most dramatic of which was the one at multiple sites in Mumbai in November 2008. India’s

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  • SUMIT GANGULY is Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and directs the Center on American and Global Security at Indiana University.
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