India's army says it has carried out "surgical strikes" against suspected militants along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir. According to the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Elite troops have launched “surgical strikes” on Pakistan-based terrorists in the contested territory of Kashmir. According to the DGMO these surgical strikes were based on specific intelligence input of terror groups ready to infiltrate into India and carry out terror attacks. Seven terror launch pads were targeted across the LoC by the Special Forces of the Indian Army during the 'surgical strike'.
“Based on very credible and specific information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir and in various other metros in our country, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launch pads”, Gen Singh told a news conference during which external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup was also present. Sharing details, Gen Singh also informed that the operations were basically focused to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country.
“The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise,” he said. The DGMO also said he had spoken to the Pakistani director general of military operations and explained India’s concerns and also shared with him details of the operation.
This sudden action by the Indian army was conducted 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir over which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that the sacrifice of 19 jawans will not go in vain.
The announcement of the strikes was made soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security which was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and DGMO Singh.
However, Pakistan has denied that India carried out any strikes and says two of its soldiers were killed in cross-border shelling. Pakistan dismissed the Indian account as a lie. Shortly after the strikes, Pakistani newspaper The Dawn, citing the Inter Services Public Relations, said that two of their army men had been killed when Indian army troops indulged in cross-border firing in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel, and Lipa sectors. The Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, condemned the “unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces”.
Meanwhile, in India, all the mainstream parties have hailed the army for carrying out surgical strikes against militant camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Indian Home minister Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting and also updated chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Bihar on the situation. “This is a strong message that conveys our country’s resolve to prevent further infiltration and attacks on our security forces and our people,” opposition leader and Indian Congress chief Mrs.Sonia Gandhi said in a statement. The Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and Samajwadi Party chief and former defence minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav also lauded the army for the “meticulous operation”. Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal saluted the army. “Bharat Mata Ki Jai. The entire country is with the Indian Army,” he tweeted.
It is the first time the Indian army has publicly acknowledged that its troops have launched raids across the LOC. It is also heartening to see, that it is after several decades of patience, India has finally decided to slap Pakistan, instead of just slamming its terror-loving neighbor.