Four years ago, on the intervening night of September 28-29, India’s elite Para SF Commandoes crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and hit the targets to the south of the Pir Panjal range in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The next day, Indian Army DGMO Lt. General Ranbir Singh conducted a press conference and announced that the Indian Army has conducted a surgical strike deep inside POK and destroyed Terror camps and killed many terrorists.
The surgical strike conducted after one of the bloodiest terror strikes on the Indian Army’s camp in Uri. On September 19, four Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists entered Uri Army camp and attacked the administrative block, which resulted in the killing of 19 Indian soldiers including six of the Bihar battalion who were recently posted at LOC.
The Uri attack had led to widespread anger across the country. Entire India was agitated and demanding stern action against the terror camps operating from Pakistan. The Indian Government was under immense pressure and it actually put its credibility at stake. Even the strongest supporters of the PM Narendra Modi were raising doubts over the abilities of the Government to take any sort of action against this gruesome attack.
But this time, Indian government had different plan in their mind, and they gave a go ahead to the Indian Army. Indian Army sent two teams of Special Force commandos inside POK, who destroyed the training camps and terror launch pads and inflicted heavy casualties. As per the various reports, the number of casualties was between 35 and 80.
We would like to discuss about the 5 primary objectives India has achieved by conducting the surgical strikes across the LOC.
India shed the image of a ‘Soft Nation’
For decades, the India-Pakistan relation has followed a routine pattern of diplomacy exchange. Pakistan was fanning terrorism in India, they were sending terrorists and conducting attacks inside our territory, but unfortunately, after every major terror strike, India would blame Pakistan, scale down diplomatic relations, call Pakistan’s High Commissioner to lodge a strong protest, raise the issue at international forums, or stop playing cricket with Pakistan. This used to go on for a few months, and after some time, we used to be back to square one, with a fresh round of engagement.
Pakistan was in a similar impression and expected a tepid response from India, but this time Modi government and the Indian Army were prepared for something bigger and unexpected. The surgical strike stunned Pakistan and it was unable to understand what actually happened in their own backyard. Pakistan was under tremendous pressure to retaliate, but Indian Armed forces were fully prepared and it gave a clear signal to Pakistan that nay misadventure could cost them dearly.
Post-surgical strikes, India has finally shed the soft-nation tag. Since then India has shown multiple shreds of evidence of this newfound confidence. Be it Balakot surgical strike deep inside Pakistan, be it aggressive stance towards China across LAC, be it slapping a ban on Chinese apps, curbing China’s FDI and participation in business tenders, and diplomatic overture with other countries to isolate China on the Ladakh border standoff. We have seen many such actions in the last 4 years, which indeed prove that strong India has already arrived.
Deter Pakistani Army to send Terrorists in India
This was indeed the primary and Military objective of the surgical strikes. We wanted to deter the Pakistani Army from sending more infiltrators across the LOC and stop them from spreading the violence in Kashmir and other parts of India, to reduce the number of casualties of Indian Soldiers and bring the peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Since 2016, it seems we have achieved all our objectives and as per the government sources, we have ticked all these objectives with utmost success.
India called Pakistan’s Nuclear bluff
For many decades, it was the Pakistani psyche to use the threat of using nuclear weapons as a “magic word” to stop India from acting against the terrorists, but surgical strikes changed it all. These surgical strikes, with complete support from the Indian Government and meticulously executed by the Indian Army have paved the way for a dramatic paradigm shift in our approach. The message was loud and clear, ‘Do what you want’, but India is not going to be deterred by a ‘bluff’ nuclear threat anymore.
Though India has a policy of no first use of nuclear arms, but in case we are under attack from Pakistan, there will be a response of unimaginable proportion and we will teach them a lesson which they will never dare to forget. Seems this trick really worked and we called off the nuclear bluff of Pakistan, and they have stopped giving threats of Nuclear attack on India. We have seen a similar response after Balakot strikes as well, where Pakistan’s primary objective was to deny any such strike, rather than threatening India.
Diplomatic isolation of Pakistan
We must accept this honestly, Pakistan has always had an upper hand as far as International diplomacy and cunningness is concerned. Come what may, they were always enjoying the support of the Western World and Islamic World all the time. The Modi government, deviating from the past policies, publicly owned up the surgical strikes across the LoC and informed all the major nations about its intentions and repercussions.
Meanwhile Pakistan, on the other hand, was a bit confused and nervous and this was reflected in their meek denial. Pakistani Government was more concerned about the after-effects of these strikes on their internal matters and pressure. Acceptance of a Surgical strike could have undermined the might of the Pakistani Army and may destroy their goodwill amongst the Pakistani Citizens.
On the other hand, the Indian Government was showing full offensive diplomacy, it clearly asserted that it was within its rights to act in the National interests to conduct a surgical strike on the Terror camps, where Terrorists were getting ready to enter inside Indian territory to carry out terror attacks, understanding the gravity of the situation, the world maintained a stoic silence over the entire episode, even the China and Islamic world maintained complete silence.
Since then India exposed Pakistan’s doublespeak on Terrorism on every possible global forum. India is even able to manage the OIC (The Organization of Islamic cooperation), which was considered as the backbone of Pakistan. India was able to put Pakistan on the grey list of FATF and putting pressure to get it on blacklist very soon, the biggest irony is, the Pakistan which once used to enjoy the global support, is now doesn’t have any credible supporter left.
Morale Booster for Indian Army
India has conducted several surgical strikes in recent years. The two surgical strikes in two years – Myanmar and PoK, and then the Balakot surgical strike, which was inside the territory of Pakistan, that too with the full backing of the central government, the Indian Army’s morale is at an all-time high.
It is to be admitted that the surgical strike in PoK saw a surge in respect for the Indian Army manyfold, though it’s already the most respected organization in India. The astute planning of the surgical strike and meticulous execution indeed enhanced the positive public opinion about the Indian Army. This, in turn, acts as a huge morale booster for the soldiers.
As per the Military experts, the Indian Army did conduct such cross-border raids in past, but they were limited to the border posts only, also the previous governments used to deny the permission to cross the LoC. However, this time, the government approved of the cross-LoC operation planned by the Northern Command.
Since then our Army is looked more confident in handling difficult situations. The Doklam standoff, which lasted for over 70 days, is a testimony to Indian Army’s high morale. the current standoff with China along LAC is another testimony of the Indian Army’s high morale, where more than 50,000 Indian Army soldiers are currently deployed and ready to stay there for the entire winter.
Indian Army did occupy the heights which were not touched for the last 50 years and send back the PLA soldiers. Indian Army’s tough stance has in fact failed the Chinese pressure tactic. Even the western experts are in awe of the Indian Army’s capabilities in mountain warfare. All this because of newfound confidence and support from the Government, which is very much required, as the Indian Army follows the instructions of the Government.
In our opinion, we can say that Surgical Strikes did a magic for our country. We did setup some goals and we were able to met all of them. This is a new and confident India, this India has changed for good and credit certainly goes to the surgical strikes conducted by our Army.