Clamour grows to hit back at Pakistan; experts say we must have our military option open

NEW DELHI,DEEVAKAR ANANAD : Even as the clamour grew for a military offensive against Pakistan following the deadly attack on the Indian Army camp in Uri on Sunday that killed 17 soldiers and injured 19, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, said here that “all four (terrorists) killed were foreign terrorists and had some items with them which had Pakistani markings.”

Initial reports, he said, indicated the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed Tanzeem. “Four AK 47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers along with a large number of other war-like stores were recovered from them,” said DGMO. Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said, “I have spoken to Pakistan DGMO and conveyed our serious concerns on the same.”

Even as Army didn’t release the names of the deceased soldiers, sources told dna that they included 15 from 6 Bihar Regiment and two from 10 Dogra Regiment.

Sources also said that a map carried by militants was found which was marked and indicated in Pashtun language.

Earlier, home minister Rajnath Singh who postponed his scheduled visits to Russia and the US held a high-level crisis meeting here with the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, home secretary, Intelligence Bureau chief, defence secretary, DGMO and CRPF DG. Rajnath Singh later briefed the PM on the developments of the day.

“Those behind this terror incident would be brought to justice. There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped,” Singh said. He also said that “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such.”

Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retired), a fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses here, told dna that “India’s response needs to be reviewed and upgraded to a more pro-active one that increases Pakistan’s cost for waging a proxy war.”

“It is high time we hit back and hurt Pakistan physically,” Brigadier Kanwal said. On questions of India’s military response leading to escalation, he said that India was comfortably placed militarily and diplomatically to take this war on Pakistan’s door. “There are plenty of ways to strike back effectively without crossing the LoC. These include artillery strikes to destroy their bunkers and forward posts, communication centres, logistic infrastructure and ammunition depots. India can launch air-to-ground strikes and also let the Special Forces conduct raids on Pakistani posts through which infiltration takes places,” Kanwal said.

Another expert, Lt Gen (retd) B S Jaswal, said, “We must have our military option open, if required to strike at certain places.”

“Bring pickets, which have launch pad to the ground, raze them to the ground. The reason is that till the time it does not hurt Pakistan physically, they would not respect our decency,” Lt Gen Jaswal, who was GOC-in-C of the Northern Command, said.

“Pakistan keeps doing it (terror strikes) again and again knowing that we would not take any action,” said Major (retd) Gaurav Arya, who has expertise in Jammu and Kashmir security situation.

The problems in Kashmir are “systematically manufactured” at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, he alleged, adding “We must take immediate action. Stop trade with Pakistan, downgrade (its) Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. The world must know we are serious.”

Former military secretary and former commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps of the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd), however said that, “Knee jerk reactions are the worst in this kind of conflict situation which is hybrid in nature. The cause-effect needs greater analysis for a suitable response at the right time. This is a campaign being fought and campaigns are not fought by one-off responses to losses.

The responses have to be thought through for relative strategic advantage rather than tactical satisfaction and ego.”

He told dna, “The government and the army would obviously be contemplating that and the Prime Minister has done well in giving his mind early. Direct action is good for public solace, but it is always the indirect method which has greater impact. No doubt an army as experienced as the Indian Army is not going to sit on its haunches without a response. The range of options will all be under analysis and the most suitable one will be chosen both by the army and the political leadership in due course. Clearly, Pakistan, which has been carefully calibrating the interference in Kashmir for all these years and attempting to keep it below the threshold of India’s tolerance, may have just crossed that line, the consequences of which it will have to bear.”

Posted by on September 19, 2016. Filed under Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.