In the early hours of September 18, 2016, four terrorists from Pakistan struck a brigade headquarters administrative base at Uri and killed 17 unarmed and unsuspecting soldiers in their tents. The nationÕs anger at this dastardly act was visible and perceptible. While the four terrorists were killed soon enough, the people all over the country demanded retribution for this cowardly act. Prime Minister Narendra ModiÕs government recognised the need for decisive action and rose to the occasion. The riposte came 10 days later and on the night of 28/29 September Indian ArmyÕs Special Forces struck at seven launch pads of the terrorists across the line of control (LoC) along a frontage of about 200 km in two different Corps Zones of the army thus achieving complete surprise over the Pakistani military establishment - alties on the terrorists and destroyed their structures and more importantly were able to extricate themselves back across the LoC without suffering any casualties. This action by itself proved to be a manifestation of the changed and aggressive overall strategy of the Government of India to deal with the Ôproxy warÕwaged by Pakistan against us since 1989.
At the international level also there was no negative response to the strikes by India which goes to prove the increasing acceptance by the international community of the right of every country to defend itself from terror attacks that are arising outside the borders of the country whether the perpetrators are state or non-state actors.
The Ôsurgical strikesÕ gave rise to vigorous vote bank politics with some other political parties/ political leaders claiming that such actions were undertaken during their regimes/ period also but they did not advertise the facts. And this gave rise to an entirely new set of controversies with agreements and denials from a number of prominent personalities. The statements and counter statements by politicians of literally every political party made no impact on the people who know the inanities that our political leaders are capable of uttering. They are savvy enough to understand to whom the credit needs to be given but what dismayed many of us veterans was the active participation of some members of our community who only managed to confuse the issues rather than clarifying them. ÒDiscretion is the better part of valourÓ is an old English proverb that our community veterans need to revisit and imbibe.
What was perhaps most thrilling and satisfying was the punctured conceit and vanity of some of our so-called intellectuals (defence analysts) who from time to time so pompously remind us that our army lacks professionalism despite having little or no knowledge about the armed forces. They were put in their place. One of these self-styled analysts was reminding us of this fact only a few days back on a TV channel. Having spent 40 years of my life in the Army and having fought two wars, i.e., in 1965 and in 1971, and hav- ing commanded my brigade in Jammu and Kashmir during the peak days of militancy from 199193, I am aware that we have the - quirement of leading them (which by and large they do) they can outperform any army in the world despite the obsolete equipment with which they are equipped. So was the case this time.
We at SP’s Land Forces wish to convey our thanks to the sol and carried out the surgical strikes. Well done and keep the