Pak Am­bush at LoC– View­Point

Af­ter deal­ing with the Pak­istan Army for over six decades, the In­dian Army un­der­stands it too well that Pak­istani Army only un­der­stands and re­spects ‘vi­o­lence’, and the Army needs a free hand to deal with them

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) NARESH CHAND The author is a for­mer Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Army Air De­fence, mem­ber of In­te­grated Guided Mis­sile De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme and mem­ber sec­re­tary of the first National Radar Coun­cil.

Lt Gen­eral (Retd) Naresh Chand

DE­FENCE MIN­IS­TER A.K. ANTONY made a bland suo moto state­ment in both the Lok Sabha and Ra­jya Sabha on Au­gust 6 re­gard­ing the am­bush by the Pak­istani troops on In­dian Troops on the line of con­trol (LoC). He said that a patrol of In­dian Army com­pris­ing one Non Com­mis­sioned Of­fi­cer and five Other Ranks was am­bushed on our side of LoC in Punch Sec­tor of Jammu and Kash­mir (J&K) early morn­ing on Au­gust 6, 2013. In the en­su­ing fire­fight, five In­dian soldiers were mar­tyred and one sol­dier in­jured. The am­bush was car­ried out by ap­prox­i­mately 20 heav­ily armed ter­ror­ists along with per­sons dressed in Pak­istan Army uni­forms. On Au­gust 8 he changed his state­ment and said, “It is now clear that the spe­cial­ist troops of Pak­istan Army were in­volved in this at­tack.” He then gave out the fol­low­ing statis­tics: The num­bers of in­fil­tra­tion at­tempts have dou­bled this year in com­par­i­son to the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod (Jan­uary 1-Au­gust 5) of 2012. There have been 57 cease fire vi­o­la­tions this year which is 80 per cent more than the vi­o­la­tions last year dur­ing the same cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod. The In­dian Army suc­cess­fully elim­i­nated 19 hard­core ter­ror­ists in the re­cent months of July and Au­gust along the LoC and in the hin­ter­land in J&K. The ef­fec­tive counter in­fil­tra­tion grid on the LoC has en­sured that 17 in­fil­tra­tion bids were foiled this year. He strongly con­demned the un­pro­voked in­ci­dent. He also in­formed the house that the Govern­ment of In­dia has lodged strong protest with Govern­ment of Pak­istan through diplo­matic chan­nels.

De­tails of the am­bush

Fur­ther de­tails emerged through the spokesman of HQs North­ern Com­mand–Ud­ham­pur. The in­ci­dent hap­pened be­tween Cheeta and Begum post, al­most three kilo­me­ters north of Chakan-da-bagh, a LoC trade point be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan. Troops be­long­ing to 21 Bi­har Bat­tal­ion (out­go­ing bat­tal­ion) and 14 Maratha LI (re­liev­ing bat­tal­ion) were de­ployed on the Sarla for­ward post along LoC in Chakan-Da-Bagh sec­tor of Poonch and their patrol had lost con­tact with their HQs around 0115 hours on Au­gust 6. The at­tack took place 450 me­tres from the LoC on the In­dian side. It was pos­si­ble that the am­bush might have been planned by the Pak­istani troops to mask the in­fil­tra­tion of Pak­istan ter­ror­ists into In­dia which is one of the com­mon tac­tics adopted for aid­ing in­fil­tra­tion; the other is pro­vid­ing fire to the in­fil­tra­tors. Stan­dard mea­sures like pa­trolling and se­cu­rity mea­sures have been height­ened along the bor- der with Pak­istan af­ter the am­bush. Troops have also been placed on high alert all along the LoC. Army Chief Gen­eral Bikram Singh is ex­pected to visit the re­gion and meet the Com­mand­ing of­fi­cer and troops of 21 Bi­har. It has also been re­ported that Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions, Lt Gen­eral Vinod Bha­tia would speak to his Pak­istan coun­ter­part on the killing of In­dian soldiers in­side the LoC. Pak­istan has as usual bla­tantly de­nied any in­volve­ment in the post midnight at­tack in Poonch sec­tor.

Re­sponse of the Govern­ment & Op­po­si­tion

While re­ply­ing to a de­bate in the Ra­jya Sabha, Antony said that New Delhi’s re­sponse will de­pend on signals and ac­tions from Pak­istan. Pak­istan’s Deputy High Com­mis­sioner Man­soor Ahmed Khan was sum­moned by the In­dian Govern­ment and a strong protest has been lodged.

The op­po­si­tion took this op­por­tu­nity to con­demn the am­bush and ma­jor­ity of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties de­manded a “be­fit­ting re­ply” to Pak­istan over the provoca­tive act in Poonch sec­tor of J&K. There were also de­mands that Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh should not meet his Pak­istan coun­ter­part Nawaz Sharif in New York next month. In the Ra­jya Sabha, leader of the op­po­si­tion Arun Jait­ley said Antony’s con­tention that the at­tack was car­ried out by “per­sons dressed in Pak­istan Army uni­form” pro­vides “an es­cape route” to Pak­istan.

Comment

The re­sponse of the In­dian Army, Govern­ment of In­dia and the op­po­si­tion, has been rou­tine and sim­i­lar to other such in­ci­dents in the past. The me­dia also will keep it alive till it has an­other ‘break­ing news’. This time, the bor­der am­bush oc­curred when the Par­lia­ment ses­sion was on and the state as well national elec­tions are on the hori­zon, re­sult­ing in ag­gra­vated re­sponse from the op­po­si­tion. On the other hand the re­sponse of the govern­ment is rather muted and pas­sive. Nu­mer­ous such in­ci­dents have taken place since 1947 and Pak­istan has al­ways re­sponded with vi­o­lence when it gets a chance. Af­ter the failed Va­j­payee-Mushar­raf sum­mit dur­ing July 2001, there was at­tack on the In­dian Par­lia­ment in De­cem­ber 2001 which re­sulted in mo­bil­i­sa­tion of armies on both side of the bor­der. Af­ter deal­ing with the Pak­istan Army for over six decades, the In­dian Army un­der­stands it too well that Pak­istani Army only un­der­stands and re­spects ‘vi­o­lence’ and the Army needs a free hand to deal with them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.