In­dian Army Strikes back across LOC ....................

Libertatem Magazine - - Content - By Pra­teek Mago

The day of 27th Septem­ber 2016 will be marked as one of the most his­toric days in the his­tory of In­dia, as this date marks an oc­cur­rence which In­dia did for the first time. In­dia, in the past, has nei­ther at­tacked any other coun­try nor has it cov­eted any sort of ter­ri­tory. Ev­ery­thing that re­sulted was in re­sponse to an in­ci­dent that took place on 18th Septem­ber that shook the minds of the cit­i­zens of our coun­try.

The ten­sion pre­vail­ing be­tween In­dia & Pak­istan es­ca­lated when on Septem­ber 18, the Uri Army Base in Jammu & Kash­mir was at­tacked, which led to the sub­se­quent sur­gi­cal strikes by In­dia on the other side of the Line of Con­trol, which is a de-facto border.

Pak­istan has al­ways been known for har­bour­ing ter­ror­ists in var­i­ous camps sit­u­ated all across the ter­ri­to­ries of its nation. This in­ci­dent com­pletely trans­formed sparks into fire, which was ig­nited when a mil­i­tant leader was killed in Jammu & Kash­mir in July.

On 19th of Septem­ber, af­ter the Army Camp in Uri was at­tacked, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi asked the

Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, Mr. Ajit Do­val, to probe into the Uri at­tack, iden­tify the per­pe­tra­tors and ex­plore all the op­tions at hand, in­clud­ing the pos­si­ble role of mil­i­tary . On 21st of Septem­ber, the Uri res­i­dents made a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the whole plan as they caught two guides, who helped the Army base at­tack­ers. On the very same day, Pak­istan of­fi­cially de­nied any sort of role in the at­tacks in Uri. The Pak­istan’s High Com­mis­sioner to In­dia, Ab­dul Ba­sit, was also sum­moned and was handed over a let­ter stat­ing the in­volve­ment of a ter­ror­ist group be­hind the Uri at­tacks, be­ing har­boured in Pak­istan. This day also wit­nessed Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Min­is­ter of Pak­istan, rak­ing up and talk­ing ex­ten­sively about the Kash­mir is­sue dur­ing his speech at the 71st Ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly. This was the time when thoughts of opt­ing for a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion be­came more con­crete.

On 22nd Septem­ber, Lt Gen­eral Ran­bir Singh, the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions, briefed the Prime Min­is­ter, Mr. Naren­dra Modi, the De­fence Min­is­ter, Mr. Manohar Par­rikar, Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, Mr. Ajit Do­val, and the Army Chief, on the con­duc­tion of cer­tain mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions on the other side of the Line of Con­trol and also, about the po­si­tions of the Pak­istani army. On 23rd Septem­ber, all the op­tions put forth by Mr. Do­val in con­sul­ta­tions with the three ser­vice chiefs were be­ing con­sid­ered, and af­ter Modi met the De­fence Min­is­ter, Mr. Do­val ul­ti­mately au­tho­rised the sur­gi­cal strikes.

Af­ter this de­ci­sion of con­duct­ing a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion be­yond the Line of Con­trol was taken, all the top notch peo­ple di­rectly con­nected with the op­er­a­tion, for ex­am­ple, Mr. Do­val, the Army Chief, etc. dis­carded their mo­bile phones. All the com­mu­ni­ca­tion was done through highly se­cured com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines only. This was done keep­ing in mind the ac­ti­va­tion of all the Pak­istani Radars across the Line of Con­trol. In­dian au­thor­i­ties con­stantly mon­i­tored and scru­ti­nized the move­ments of the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in Pak­istan, Pak­istani army per­son­nels, the Xcorps which are based in Rawalpindi and are also the in charge for the Pak­istan oc­cu­pied Kash­mir, and the Gil­git based com­man­ders. On 24th Septem­ber, Modi at­tended sev­eral meet­ings and also ad­dressed a rally at Kozhikode, wherein he said, “Will nei­ther For­give nor For­get Uri.” Mean­while, the In­dian Army gets ready. The North­ern Army Com­man­der picked the strike team from 1, 3, and 4 Para­chute Bat­tal­ions. All the Nitro pro­gramme satel­lites were ac­ti­vated to mon­i­tor the pos­si­ble tar­gets. Pro­vided the fact that the Pak­istani Radars across the Line of

Con­trol were ac­ti­vated, con­duct­ing an op­er­a­tion through he­li­copters was not con­sid­ered to be a fea­si­ble idea.

On 27th Septem­ber, the D-day, at around 10 pm, all the vil­lages near the border in Pun­jab and Jammu & Kash­mir were evac­u­ated. From 11 pm on­wards, the strike teams started mov­ing to the lo­ca­tions. The in­ten­tion was to co­or­di­nate the at­tacks, hence, some teams which had dis­tant tar­gets left a bit ear­lier.

Sen­tries which were there at the launch pads were neu­tralised with the help of snipers be­fore the strike teams went in­side. One of the In­dian sol­diers, while com­ing back, stepped on a land mine and was badly in­jured. Apart from him, every­one else was suc­cess­ful in reach­ing back to the base at around 9 am, and there was hardly any re­tal­ia­tory fir­ing from the side of Pak­istan.

The strike teams were suc­cess­ful in raz­ing down 6 launch pads, and gun­ning down ap­prox­i­mately 45 ter­ror­ists at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, and it was very ev­i­dent that the Uri at­tackes were avenged.

Af­ter the op­er­a­tion, a Cabi­net Com­mit­tee Meet on Se­cu­rity was called by the Prime Min­is­ter, and the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Mil­i­tary Op­er­a­tions, Lt Gen­eral Ran­bir Singh in­formed his Pak­istani Coun­ter­part about the strike. At around 12:30 pm, the DGMO Lt Gen­eral Ran­bir Singh ad­dressed the Me­dia at a press-con­fer­ence. He said, “The launch pads were tar­geted af­ter a week of sur­veil­lance. Sig­nif­i­cant ca­su­al­ties have been caused to th­ese ter­ror­ists and those who are try­ing to sup­port them.”

The whole op­er­a­tion seems to be like a very well-planned and a size­able in-scale op­er­a­tion. But still, there are a lot of the­o­ries lin­ger­ing about which claim that there hasn’t been any strikes at all. If Pak­istan con­tends that there hasn’t been any strike, peo­ple may also hope the fact that they may not re­tal­i­ate, be­cause of a very sim­ple rea­son that you don’t re­tal­i­ate against an in­ci­dent that has never oc­curred. Even, the United Na­tions has also said that its mis­sion which is ded­i­cated to­wards main­tain­ing the cease fire be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan “has not di­rectly ob­served” any fir­ing on the Line of Con­trol. Stephane Du­jar­ric, the spokesper­son for the United Na­tions Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Mr. Ban Ki Moon said that the UN Mil­i­tary Ob­server Group in In­dia and Pak­istan (UNMOGIP) “has not ob­served any fir­ing across the LOC re­lated to the lat­est in­ci­dent.” Still, in lieu of all th­ese the­o­ries, I still be­lieve the fact that In­dia did con­duct sur­gi­cal strikes across the border and I ap­pre­ci­ate the ev­i­dence on the side of In­dia”.

This in­ci­dent brings along a mo­ment for the Prime Min­is­ter to tell all the Pak­ista­nis about the change that has come in the func­tion­al­ity in In­dia and they must very well rec­og­nize that change. It is quite sure that as the gen­eral In­dian pub­lic is well aware of the strikes now, it is def­i­nitely go­ing to help in as­suag­ing the do­mes­tic In­dian anger against the Pak­istani har­boured ter­ror­ism. In­dia seems to have taken a lot of tremen­dously im­por­tant steps to min­i­mize and de­crease the mil­i­tary ten­sions and es­ca­la­tion be­tween the two nu­clear power na­tions. This is sup­ported by the fact that In­dia only tar­geted non-mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties and com­mu­ni­cat­ing the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion about the sur­gi­cal strikes to the Pak­istani Gov­ern­ment first, be­fore it talked about it in front of the press.

There is an­other an­gle to this whole in­ci­dent in terms of for­eign pol­icy. This can be put as one of the re­mark­able events lead­ing to the turn­around of Modi’s pol­icy to­wards Pak­istan. The symp­toms were shown dur­ing his speech on 15th Au­gust, wherein he talked about the hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions by Pak­istan in Balochis­tan and Pak­istan oc­cu­pied Kash­mir.

The speech given by the Prime Min­is­ter of Pak­istan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, at the United Na­tions Gen­eral Aseem­bly, was strongly re­sponded by Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Min­is­ter of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, In­dia, dur­ing her speech at the UN. Her speech clearly put Pak­istani har­boured ter­ror­ism as a global threat and chal­lenge. Pak­istan has been con­tin­u­ously pres­sur­ized by the diplo­matic ac­tions of the Repub­lic of In­dia. Now, the fu­ture course of ac­tion com­pletely de­pends on the ap­proach of Pak­istan to­wards this in­ci­dent. The Pak­istani army has a very vi­tal role to play in the ad­min­is­tra­tion. It is at a po­si­tion where it is very likely that it its in­ter­ests are staked and it loses its po­si­tion in the in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal arena. But again, this ar­gu­ment is com­pletely nul­li­fied by the fact that Pak­istan still gets an abun­dance of eco­nomic fund­ing from the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China. Pro­vided the fact that there has been a tremen­dous in­vest­ment by China in Pak­istan as a part of sev­eral ini­tia­tives such as One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive, etc., it is very likely that Pak­istan wouldn’t have to worry about the in­ter­na­tional pres­sure and re­ac­tion with such a strong and an indis­pens­able Chi­nese sup­port.

What­ever may be the ac­tions, and what­ever may be their re­ac­tions, at the end of the day, it is us with whom the power lies. If we, as gen­eral pub­lic, are able to chan­nel­ize this re­spon­si­bil­ity into some­thing pos­i­tive, then the day is not far, when there will be har­mony be­tween the two na­tions.

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