Can go for 2nd sur­gi­cal strike, says vice-chief

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

From P 1

Hooda, who as North­ern Army com­man­der played a piv­otal role in the sur­gi­cal strikes con­ducted on the night of Septem­ber 28-29, 2016, was crit­i­cal of “po­lit­i­cal ban­ter” on both sides, re­fer­ring to con­trast­ing claims of BJP and Congress whether the strikes were a first.

In­ter­est­ingly, the cur­rent North­ern Army com­man­der, Lt Gen Ran­bir Singh, said the sur­gi­cal strikes had con­veyed a strong mes­sage to Pak­istan over the con­se­quences of any mis­ad­ven­ture along the Line of Con­trol. “From a mil­i­tary point of view, th­ese were suc­cess­ful tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions... and the In­dian Army was able to con­vey a very clear mes­sage to Pak­istan that should they not stop any kind of mis­ad­ven­ture along the LoC, they shall be given a be­fit­ting re­ply,” he said in Ka­purthala on Satur­day. As DGMO he had of­fi­cially an­nounced the strikes.

Mean­while, in Dehradun, Army vice-chief Lt Gen D Anbu said the forces won’t hes­i­tate to launch an­other such op­er­a­tion across the bor­der if the need arises. “We were only show­ing our strength by con­duct­ing a sur­gi­cal strike on mil­i­tant launch pads. If the en­emy chal­lenges us, we can cross the Line of Con­trol and do it again.”

Ac­cord­ing to ANI, Lt Gen Hooda (Retd) main­tained on Satur­day that there was too much hype about the sur­gi­cal strikes. “I do think there was too much hype over it. The mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion was im­por­tant and we had to do it. Now how much should it have been politi­cised, whether it is right or wrong, is some­thing that should be asked to politi­cians,” Lt Gen Hooda said.

The sur­gi­cal strikes, con­ducted af­ter a ter­ror at­tack on an Army camp in Uri in Kash­mir on Septem­ber 18, 2016, which re­sulted in the death of 19 sol­diers, has been touted by BJP as an ex­am­ple of its re­solve to counter ter­ror­ism as com­pared to Congress while the op­po­si­tion party has said there have been such op­er­a­tions in the past and there is still no check on ter­ror­ism.

A few lead­ers of Congress and other op­po­si­tion par­ties had ini­tially ques­tioned the ve­rac­ity of the “sur­gi­cal strikes”.

Gen Ran­bir Singh said, “Sur­gi­cal strike is one of the op­tions avail­able to the Army. It had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the coun­try. We’ve been able to curb ter­ror­ism to a great ex­tent.”

He said all ac­tions car­ried out by the Army along the LoC were car­ried out in an ex­tremely pro­fes­sional man­ner to meet the na­tional as­pi­ra­tions and achieve the mil­i­tary ob­jec­tives.

“Sur­gi­cal strikes are only one of many op­tions to stop in­fil­tra­tion. The armed forces have a range of op­tions and they are be­ing an­a­lysed at all times and the best course of ac­tion is put into ef­fect,” he said.

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