Quoting a dialogue from a famous Bollywood movie ‘Border’: “ Hum 120 Jawan Hai Aur Dushman Poori Tank Battalion Ke Sath Hai”. Not anymore, gone are the days when the Indian army went into operations with just courage. Since then times have changed drastically, now the Indian Army is so well-resourced and trained and this very fact laid the foundation for carrying out the Surgical Strikes, however, the magnitude of operation and the publicity it got are still subject of much speculation.
Not to rush into the incidents of the day itself, I would like to take the readers a few days before the surgical strikes actually came into the picture. Already amidst the not so good times between the two neighboring nations, September 18th, 2016, was the date when the Uri Army base camp was attacked by 4 heavily armed militants, killing 17 Indian army soldiers and injuring many others. Prior to this attack, infiltrations had been happening across the LOC but this attack turned out to be a major push through for conducting surgical strikes. Interestingly, the seeds of the operation were planted way back in mid-2015 when the Indian army had conducted a similar cross-border raid into Myanmar and killed over 50 insurgents. The then-Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said “Although I didn’t spell it out explicitly, I knew someday a grave provocation by Pakistan may require a Myanmar-like operation” and he had asked the army commandant to start looking for such targets across the LOC.
Eventually, September 29th did witness a fierce strike by a specially designed team trained with tasks like mounting secret surveillance, raiding the camps and exfiltration(as per the army commandant). This whole operation was planned with utmost secrecy and even after the execution no exact facts, images or clips were shared with anyone. This attack was linked with a vengeance to the Uri attack and the new breed of ‘unstoppable yelling’ media got a chance to take their TRPs a notch up with debates having violence of mouth. Also, not to forget the immature comments by some politicians, some of whom came to claim the credit and some came just to downgrade the move. This, however, gave birth to some conspiracies that question the very happening of this operation. I have tried to club the perspective of the various parties to it, in the following pointers:
- Pakistan view: The Pakistani military spokesman released a statement denying there had been any Indian cross-border raids and that the Indians were claiming cross-LoC fire as “surgical strikes”. However, some locals residing in the regions near LOC did hear some explosions and heavy firing.
- Indian view: The DGMO addressed the press saying that with very credible and specific information about the location of terror pads, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes at these launch pads. Not taking anything away from the Indian army but one unsolved mystery however still persists in a rational mind is that if the army went so deep into the enemy land then most likely there should have been some retaliation by the Pakistani troops. Or maybe there was some retaliation which is undisclosed yet!
According to a report published by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of infiltrations has reduced by 45% since September 2016 and also the killings increased by around 350 odd militants since 2013. Not sure about whether to take pride in appreciating bloodshed but when militancy is not hampered by the roundtable talks, guns are ought to be used.
“Surgical Strikes” Version 2
December 26th2017 saw another audacious 45 minutes raid by 5 Indian Army commandos killing at least 3 Pakistani Army troops, however, the death toll could be higher. This action is seen as avenging the killing of 4 Indian Army men in the Keri sector by the Pakistani army. Bringing back the memories of September 28th 2017, this time again the focus was on selective targeting although the raid was confined to 200-300 meters inside the Pok.
Easily recognizable observation from the above-discussed events is the paradigm shift in the government’s attitude towards Pakistani sponsored terror and their policies. Also important to mention is the army’s willingness to go full throttle whenever needed.
At last, I would leave one thing to the reader’s discretion:
Is it morally correct to lingering doubts on the actions of Army by asking them for evidence to prove the authenticity, that too in such crucial operations! We should give it a thought.