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