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Friday, 30 September 2016


By Lt. Gen. JS Bajwa Published: 30th September 2016 As tactical military operations, these raids were an outstanding success. But a larger question remains. India’s forces carried out a se­ries of successful pre-emptive surgical strikes 3-5 km across the Line of Control (LC) on ter­rorist launch pads in the wee hours of the morning of 29th September 2016. The terrorists were planning to infiltrate and conduct Uri like operations in J&K and other metros. The In­dian forces eliminated 38 ter­rorists and two Pakistani soldiers,injured nine, and ex­tricated themselves without suffering any casualties. With­out going into details, it is clear that the paratroopers were in­ducted by aircraft along the LoC, and mounted a surprise raid on the unsuspecting ter­rorists, As tactical military operations these raids were an outstanding success. It is a sign of bold decision making at the highest political and military level, excellent ac­tionable intelligence, meticu­lous planning, inter-service coordination of the highest or­der and finally raw guts and courage of the Indian soldier. However the larger question is: has Uri been avenged? What about the many incidents be­fore Uri? Are those all buried unsung and forgotten and Pa­kistan forgiven? This operation was a success because the government had the leadership and political will to face the consequences. The military trains to be ready to execute any task against an enemy provided the govern­ment wants it to do so. Unfor­tunately the earlier dispensa­tions at the Centre were not bold and decisive enough to take the harder option . Each time India allowed an incident to be analysed for too long there was paralysis in the action. The lesson that Paki­stan drew was that India will make a lot of noise, but there will be no concrete action tak­en. They also concluded that India would seek international help at the UN. So to hedge against that, Pakistan made it­self indispensible to the US in its long drawn war in Afghani­stan and endear itself to Chi­na, a wily practitioner of so­phisticated statecraft. These measures adopted by Pakistan ensured it got away every time and the international commu­nity asked India to exercise re­straint. India thus acquired the stigma of being a soft state. Pakistan had also concluded that having crafted low yield nuclear weapons with the help of China it had blackmailed India into restraining it for re­acting to terrorist actions in­side India. Of late Pakistani military veterans had been brandishing most glibly and in a cavalier fashion the use of nuclear weapons against India. These statements were al­ways accompanied with a glint in the eye and a devious smirk. Is Pakistan prepared to use a nuclear weapon when a terror­ist training camp or a launch pad or even a terrorist safe ha­ven is targeted in a surgical strike? Why is the internation­al community not able to re­strain Pakistan? Why is the onus on India? The reaction to the early morning raids has drawn the expected response from the po­litical setup and Army of Paki­stan. It threatens of suitable retaliation. India is prepared for that. Since India has tar­geted terrorist launch pads and not any military base or even a military post what In­dian objective would Pakistan Army target under the criteria of ‘jus ad bellum’ a ‘just war’? Is it contemplating in despatch­ing armed irregulars to target the Army? Or is it going to un­leash its home grown terror­ists on to the hapless public in a metro to take revenge? Or is it going to mobilise its mili­tary? In undertaking either of the first or second option it will be proved beyond any doubt that Pakistan employs irregulars and terrorists as a subset of its state policy. If Pa­kistan escalates with its mili­tary to another level Indian military would be prepared for it. India will have to be wary of China too as it now has its mili­tary involvement in POK and may not hesitate in intervening. Here is a situation where the government is activating all the elements of national pow­er. The military is prepared for any misadventure by Pakistani military or terrorist terrorists across the International Bor­der and the LC. The govern­ment has activated the Minis­try of External Affairs to present proof of Pakistan in­volvement in the terrorist ac­tions including the terrorists captured in the hinterland in J&K who have laid bare Paki­stani machinations. Internally the Home Minis­try is active in strengthening its border management and in­telligence setup. India can also leverage its economic growth to convince nations that India would deal with only those who are sensitive to its con­cerns. The government has reached out to all parties to seek a national consensus. The synergy is palpable. This incident has brought to fore two important issues gov­ernments at the Centre are wary of talking of - first, break­ing up the state of J&K into three distinct entities of Jam­mu, Kashmir and Ladakh; sec­ond, abrogating Article 370. The situation in the Kashmir Valley has held the Jammu and Ladakh regions hostage for too long and the last three months with no state government func­tional their plight is pathetic. Article 370 is a protective divi­sive legislation which should have no relevance in a free country. It is high time that the country takes a firm decision to stop treating J&K as a dis­puted territory. POK is the dis­puted part, and India should emphatically state so

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