Thursday, September 29, 2016
India avenges terror attacks with surgical strike. Now, what next?
Finally, the long-awaited avenging of the Uri attack has taken place. Remember the the buzz on the social media a few days ago? See my previous post.
The day's excitement, which began with the news that the Prime Minister had cancelled a meeting to discuss the status of the Most Favoured Nation status of Pakistan, has lasted right up to the end of the day.
Instead of the meeting on the MFN status, the PM chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs. At that time it was also announced that there were will be a rare joint press conference by the MoD and MEA. There was immediate speculation on what is going to be announced.
The announcement of the “surgical operation” came at that press briefing by the DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh. (Surgical strike is a military operation aimed at hitting their targets precisely with little or no collateral damage to surrounding areas.) He said that the Indian troops crossed the Line of Control and destroyed several launch pads. Many terrorists died, and there were no casualties on the Indian side. When journalists wanted to ask questions, it was announced that the officials won't take any questions, and the press meet ended.
Officials seem to have briefed journalists off the record; and through the afternoon a number of details of the operation filtered out. At least 38 terrorists were killed. Seven launch pads were destroyed. The troops went up to 6 km inside the Pak-occupied Kashmir. And the operation began around 12.30 am and lated till around 4.30 am. In the night, more details of the operation are emerging.
Interestingly, Pakistan in its reaction, said the Indian claim was a lie. “There was no surgical strike. It was just a cross-border shelling in which two Pakistani soldiers died,” is the gist of that reaction.
In a way that shows their “guilt”. Because if they didn't have anything to hide, they would have reacted saying, “India, without any provocation crossed the LoC, smashed infrastructure resulting in many deaths.” Nothing of that sort.
In these days of rapid information dissemination, it's difficult to hide anything. And wonder if the people of Pakistan will believe their government's reaction that nothing actually happened.
More surgical strikes?
I don't think there will be any immediate major retaliation by the Pakistan defence forces. Because, Pakistan isn't even saying that India conducted surgical strikes. So, for what should they retaliate?
But Pakistan, terming last night incident as only s cross-border shelling, says they will not brook any further aggression. That is significant. Because, that is like a warning to India. “Once it's okay, We will look the other way. But if you are going to make this a habit, don't think we will keep quiet,” That seems to be what they are meaning.
It will be naive on India's part to assume that Pakistan will not hit back. That is why Indian defence forces are at maximum alert; ready to take on even any surprise retaliation.
The government sources are saying that this will not be a one-off surgical strike. There will be a sustained bid to end the cross-border infiltration and the terror that is flowing into Jammu and Kashmir.
That means there is a change from in our policy from being a passive witness to an active combatant. It is only natural that there is such a change, as the moralistic high ground based on peace hasn't exactly brought about any tranquility at all. It is only being seen as a weakness, and capitalised on.