India’s riposte to Uri should be well thought out and deliberate
The nation is struggling to come to terms with the dastardly act by Pakistan in Uri, Kashmir, where sleeping soldiers were attacked by a pack of terrorists in the most cowardly manner.
It is very clear that the act was committed by terrorists, trained and infiltrated by the Pakistan Army into the Kashmir Valley, for this specific purpose. This was definitely not an attack designed to terrorise. After all, who would think that a professional Army can be terrorised by four persons out to kill soldiers in a cowardly manner and before succumbing to their inevitable death.
The aim was to discredit the Indian Army and escalate the already tense situation between the two countries to a state of open hostilities and even war.
Such a situation is in favour of only the Pakistan Army and particularly its chief, General Raheel Sharif, who would like to put off his impending retirement in November 2016 by building a state of emergency in his country.
It is really very sad to see soldiers indoctrinating in the name of religion, semi literate, very poor and ignorant young men to raid enemy military installations. This amounts to exploitation of the worst kind of a a human being and a fellow citizen.
The Uri episode shows the incompetence and inability of the Pakistan Army to face its adversaries head-on. By resorting to such unholy means to further its objective, the Pakistan Army is shaming not only itself but the entire soldiering community of the world. Never in the annals of military history can be found an instance where any honourable soldier has resorted to such crass and underhand methods.
Under the circumstances, India has no option but to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to counter such reprehensible designs and meet the immoral challenge being posed by the neighbouring country. In this regard three statements gain significance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while strongly condemning the terror attack, assured the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh openly described Pakistan a terrorist state which should be identified and isolated as such.
Lt General Ranbir Singh, Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army, said that the army has the desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate. He added that the Army reserves the right to respond to any act of the adversary at a time and place of own choosing.
It can be taken for granted that the Prime Minister is working overtime towards fulfilling his promise to the nation. The eerie silence in 7 Race Course Road now Lok Kalyan Marg is a harbinger of some very serious things to come. The Prime Minister will play his hand only when he has all his cards in place.
It has to be appreciated that, at the level of the Prime Minister, decisions have to be taken deliberately while keeping the long term implication in mind. He is privy to the many options and will weigh each one of them for their merit and efficacy before acting.
The first prong of his strategy that has been articulated by the government in the public domain is isolating Pakistan in the global community. The statement by the Home Minister set the pace for the same. Its structure has been put in place within two days and it is progressing effectively.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in the United States to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), is already feeling the heat of India’s newly crafted
policy. He has been censured by the United States administration and President Barak Obama is not holding a bilateral meeting with him. The matter can only escalate from here.
The government has other options like tweaking Pakistan economically and also cutting off all diplomatic relations with the country as a first step in the policy of isolation. All these will also open up in the days to come. While moving ahead with this strategy of isolating Pakistan, It would be best for the government to shed the policy of providing dossiers to various countries and the United Nations to give proof of Pakistan’s terrorist activities directed against India.
India enjoys enough stature in the global community to be heard without giving proof or veracity of its
ssertions. In case any country has a doubt it can use its own intelligence resources to gather proof and take a position. India must simply put
forward her case and bluntly ask for a clear cut black or white — with me or against me posture. The time to dwell in grey areas is now over!! So far as the military response is concerned, it is evident that the government has left it to the Army to extract retribution in any manner that it deems fit.
The masochist calls for deep strikes into Pakistan may represent an
expression of anger of the general public, but they do not fall in the ambit of practicality. Indian real estate along the Line of Control (LOC) and International Border (IB) with Pakistan is highly developed and
economically vibrant. The Pakistan side, on the other hand, is desolate and underdeveloped. The terror camps are temporary in a nature.
Going for a deep or shallow strike over there is not going to accrue any worthwhile tactical or strategic
advantage. It would be best to leave the professionals in the Army, free to do whatever they feel is best to seek retribution, rather than discussing the same in the media and other forums.
The more the retired Army officers and the others talk about it in the public domain the more they are
providing to the enemy a list of options that the Army might use to launch a counter attack. The broad contours of the policy to punish Pakistan are already in place. It would be best to grieve silently for our fallen soldiers and leave it to the government to play out the riposte in the manner that it deems appropriate, it has to be done in a well thought out and deliberate manner.
(The writer is editor www.defenceinfo.com)