On the first anniversary of the
#UriAttack, replugging some thoughts I tweeted last year, a day after the attack. Glad to note that many things turned out as hoped!
Firstly, what happened and how it happened is well known by now. Will not dwell upon that. One thing that can be safely said without fear of contradiction is that the attack in itself was nothing new. Terror attacks on army camps have happened before at a number of locations, including Uri (Remember Lt Col Sankalp Kumar?). What makes this attack ‘different’ is the sheer numbers of fatal and non fatal casualties. Let me go out on a limb here. I say this magnitude of damage wasn’t anticipated by the terror handlers in Rawalpindi. It is this which is a potential game changer.
I bet there are anxious khakis in Pindi waiting for how India will react now, esp given the PM’s Independence Day speech in which he raised a ‘sensitive’ issue, Balochistan, and the days thereafter wherein there seems a concerted campaign to name and shame Pakistan for its state sponsored terror. IMO, the govt will HAVE to react to this provocation ‘differently’ than similar ones in past. There seems no other way. When and how that retaliation happens needs to be seen.
There already exists a precedent wherein after the massive casualties in Manipur last year, the Govt took a few days to prepare and retaliated with a massive blow in the form of the Special Forces raid in Myanmar. I still remember some Paki handles tweeting something like ‘Pakistan is not Myanmar’ or such likes.
Will come to that in a while.
Right now, the issue at hand is whether the Govt will react or not. I guess that is a call for the Govt of the day to take. What follows is the options I see are available. In a nutshell, let us say there are 2 options: military and non military.
Talking about the non military ones first, these may take form of a string of dossiers as done after 26/11, or a speech in the UN, or not resuming the already suspended dialogue process for a bit longer. All have been tried time and again, with the same result -failure. The one single reason is that we want others to do what is essentially our own job. No one in the world has any love lost for any Indian lives lost. Not until we put a heavy price on each and every Indian life ourselves. THAT is the bottom-line.
This is not to say that diplomacy doesn’t matter. It does. Just as it did in 1971 and Kargil. But at those times, it was backed with the full might of the Indian military machine. THAT is what clicked then and not in 26/11 – the military option. This current ‘lull’ after Kargil is perhaps the longest we’ve been without a military confrontation with Pak.
What this seems to have led to is a mindset which, originally defensive, has become even more so. Covert retaliation et al seem to be the answer of choice lately, but what we are forgetting is that we are playing into the enemy’s strength by doing this, even as our strength – Military Might – remains idle and unacknowledged.
Yes, I use the phrase ‘Military Might’ because it is exactly what it is when facing Pakistan. For all the issues of equipment etc flogged daily on social media, fact is that even in its present state, the Indian Army will prevail over the Khakis across the border with ease. With ease indeed, given the overwhelming superiority in the air that will come to bear in sync with the grunts on ground who must already be raring to have a go. Now add to this the relative strengths of the navies and you’ll understand why Paki Army have tried to keep the levels of provocation below the perceived Indian threshold – a ‘war avoidance’ strategy, if you will.
They know that for all the bombast and swag, they don’t stand a chance. And given what they’ve consistently fed their population, if push comes to shove, their nakedness will be exposed to the very population that they have ruled for practically all of last 69 years.
Coming back to the current day. Retribution HAS to follow, there is no doubt about that. However, IMO, it should also be SEEN as having been visited upon the perpetrators. And the perpetrator is not a Hafiz Saeed / Masood Azhar. It is the Khakis sitting in Rawalpindi that planned it, and those immediately across the LC from Uri that executed it. I wouldn’t mind a bit if they are flattened with some help from the heavens above. Killing the terrorists that came in isn’t enough. They are in numbers unimaginable, a practically endless stream. Pain needs to be visited upon those who control the tap – Remember the taped conversation of Musharraf during Kargil – ‘Inki tooti hamare haath mein hai’?
They don’t have the b@lls to fight man to man, and sadly, we oblige them by being reactive and restricted to own side of the borders. It is time to change this state of affairs.
I understand that this chain of thoughts, or rant, call it what you will, is asking for an emotive response when our forte has been a rational one. Even in case of Myanmar, it took a few days to put things in place before the raid went in, but the point is, being rational hasn’t had much effect wrt Pakistan. It takes 2 hands to clap, with just one hand, all you can do is slap the other fellow. I feel it is time to change the rules a bit. Let it be India that is ‘irrational’ for a change, that is if you consider a legitimate military response to this provocation, irrational. Mind you, the Indian soldier is down, but not out. He still has a LOT of fight in him, despite the losses. Instead of losing fine young men merely on this side of the border, let the enemy too get an opportunity for the same.
Unlike what some
#Presstitutes said yesterday, being a soldier is not a suicidal job. Yes, you may lose your life, but that is a known risk. It is deaths like the ones that came visiting to the boys in Uri yesterday that hurt. In the long run, a military confrontation is the ONLY way to arrive at a lasting solution, given that it is the Paki Army that runs the show, regardless of the democratically elected govt in power.
As for the idiotic calls for people to people contacts and Pakis artists etc, remember, they make money in India off you and me, go back and pay taxes in Pakistan, enabling their govt to foment terror back in India. I tweeted my thoughts on that some days ago. MUST have a look and let me know if I am wrong, here’s the LINK to that.
To sum up, status quo as of now is they provoke, we react in a predictable manner. I say, break this pattern. Let us be the irrational ones for a change. Let us bring our strengths to bear, instead of playing to the enemy’s strengths.
(One year later, today I am somewhat glad to note the way things have turned out to be. Surgical Strikes across the LoC were exactly the kind of ‘public’ response one had hoped for and the recent shifting of gears with respect to operations inside the Valley. Fact remains, however, that the Khakis across the border STILL remain comfortable in Pindi. Hope that changes too. Soon)