In­dia Re­sponds to Uri Ter­ror Strike


Lt Gen­eral P.C. Katoch (Retd)

IN­DIA EX­E­CUTED SUR­GI­CAL STRIKES against mul­ti­ple ter­ror­ist launch pad­scum-train­ing camps in four sec­tors of Pak­istan-oc­cu­pied Kash­mir (PoK) on night Septem­ber 28/29. Post the Uri ter­ror­ist at­tack, Nawaz Sharif had shed the fake mask of friend­ship he had been show­cas­ing in re­sponse to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s overly friendly over­tures. After the Pak­istani-spon­sored ter­ror at­tack on the IAF base at Pathankot on Jan­uary 2, 2016, Nawaz had in­di­cated that he would co­op­er­ate in the probe. How­ever, not only did he later de­flect ac­tion harp­ing on “lack of evidence (as in case of 26/11 Mum­bai ter­ror­ist at­tack), post the ter­ror­ist at­tack on the army camp at Uri, he re­futed any Pak­istani in­volve­ment and in­stead blamed In­dia for or­ches­trat­ing the at­tack to di­vert at­ten­tion from the sit­u­a­tion in Kash­mir Val­ley. How­ever, the cap­ture and in­ter­ro­ga­tion of the Pak­istani ori­gin guides who helped the Pak­istani ter­ror­ists dur­ing the Uri ter­ror­ist at­tack again con­firmed Pak­istani army’s di­rect in­volve­ment in or­gan­is­ing and di­rect­ing the Uri ter­ror at­tack.

In well planned and co­or­di­nated sur­gi­cal strikes In­dian Army’s Spe­cial Forces struck mul­ti­ple ter­ror­ist lo­ca­tions in PoK over a widely dis­persed area. Some 35-40 ter­ror­ists were re­port­edly killed. Some Pak­istani army sol­diers though taken by sur­prise tried to in­ter­fere with our Spe­cial Forces op­er­a­tions but were also gunned down in the process. The suc­cess of these ac­tions also should be seen in the back­drop of the fact that the Pak­istani army was on high alert for last 10 days, not to men­tion the night fight­ing of F-16s over Islamabad and Nawaz Sharif and his De­fence Min­is­ter along with Sar­taj Aziz and Army Chief Ra­heel Sharif talk­ing of war and twitch­ing their nu­clear tails. The sur­prise achieved was to­tal with not a sin­gle casualty to our troops. In fact, the Pak­istani posts along the LoC only woke up after our Spe­cial Forces had re­turned back. One of the ma­jor rea­sons for the Pak­istani army be­ing caught to­tally off guard de­spite be­ing put on high alert was per­haps they never imag­ined In­dia would re­spond in this man­ner. Post the Uri ter­ror at­tack, there was tremen­dous pres­sure on the Modi Gov­ern­ment to re­tal­i­ate.

But all along the in­tended tar­gets were be­ing kept un­der con­stant sur­veil­lance. And these were struck at the right time in bril­liant fash­ion. This has sent a loud and clear mes­sage to Pak­istan that In­dia will not re­main mute spec­ta­tor to Pak­istan-spon­sored ter­ror­ism, re­ly­ing only on diplo­macy. The no­tion on cer­tain quar­ters of In­dia be­ing a soft state has also been laid to rest. Prime Min­is­ter Modi has demon­strated that his lead­er­ship is class apart. That the United States has is­sued a state­ment they would not in­ter­vene is also credit to Prime Min­is­ter Modi’s acu­men. Our Spe­cial Forces boys and the IAF he­li­copter pi­lots who flew them de­serve high com­men­da­tion. In­ter­est­ingly, the Pak­istani me­dia has crit­i­cised es­ca­la­tion along the LoC but has “re­jected” In­dia’s claim of hav­ing con­ducted above cross-bor­der sur­gi­cal strikes. Ob­vi­ously, the Pak­istani mil­i­tary and Nawaz Sharif and Co can’t ex­plain to their public how these mul­ti­ple sur­gi­cal strikes were con­ducted so suc­cess­fully while they had been bandy­ing about war, high alert, nu­clear war and such like gib­ber­ish. Pak­istan curb­ing ter­ror­ism is out of the ques­tion since the Pak­istani mil­i­tary not only holds Pak­istan and the Pak­istani public to ran­som, they have in­fil­trated ev­ery de­part­ment and or­gan in Pak­istan; eco­nomic, ad­min­is­tra­tive or what­ever.

In 2007, Pak­istani scholar Aye­sha Sid­diqa in her book Mil­i­tary Inc stated that the Pak­istani mil­i­tary’s pri­vate-in­dus­trial-cor­po­rate com­plex was to the tune of $20 bil­lion al­ready. This amount would have mul­ti­plied many more times, and to re­tain this power and money, the Pak­istani mil­i­tary must have con­flict both with In­dia and Afghanistan. So, es­ca­la­tion by Pak­istan is very much on the cards. We should be geared for ter­ror­ism panIn­dia and es­ca­la­tion in the forms of ter­ror­ist at­tacks – even CBRN lone wolf at­tacks. In ad­di­tion, cross-bor­der at­tacks from Pak­istan could in­crease. Should there be more es­ca­la­tion, Pak­istan can be ex­pected to ‘de­ploy’ her nu­clear weapons and pub­li­cise the same. Be­sides call­ing her nu­clear buff, she has to be told that In­dia’s ‘No-First Use’ doc­trine ap­plies to the ‘threat’ of nu­clear at­tack as well. Ad­di­tion­ally, our Spe­cial Forces have al­ready been con­duct­ing joint train­ing. Should Pak­istan con­tinue with her proxy war on In­dia and Afghanistan, there should be am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties for joint op­er­a­tions by these two forces against Pak­istan.

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