The terrorist attack on Army unit in Uri has resulted in massive outrage among serving and retired military officers community on the social media who have been raising demands that the government should strongly retaliate across the Line of Control (LoC).
While many serving officers are on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter under pseudonyms, there are several who are using their real names and have not hesitated to put out their views. Pained by the loss of 18 Army jawans in the Uri attack, the comments range from demanding that the Indian Army be allowed to resume artillery fire across the LoC to mounting covert attacks against terror camps in Pakistani territory.
Some of the retired officers who are well known defence analysts have also adopted a hard stand after the Uri attack and have not minced their words demanding immediate retaliatory action from the union government.
— Gurmeet Kanwal (@gurmeetkanwal) September 18, 2016
Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd), one such analyst who has commanded a brigade in the valley, tweeted that Pakistan Army posts which give support to the infiltrators into J&K must be pulverised. “Reduce Pak post through which infiltration took place to rubble,” he tweeted.
Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle (retd), another prominent defence analyst has also supported opening artillery fire on Pakistani posts besides recommending that the Indian Army should mount a special forces operations of the kind taken across the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur against the rebels.
#UriAttack open entire border through pulverising attacks on pak posts by indian artillery or carry out selective strikes Indian options
— Rahul Bhonsle (@RahulBhonsle) September 18, 2016
There have been voices of caution and reasoning too amidst the call for immediate action. Former GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen HS Panag (retd) has advised sober thinking. He tweeted, “Think at the strategic level and plan the end state even if initial response is tactical. Else the bluff will be called.” He also wrote that whatever be the action it has to be strategically thought through. Lt Gen KJ Singh (retd), who till recently was GOC-in-C Western command tweeted, “Experts will analyse and redress, fix blame. Do our bit to build capacities. Well thought out response at time and place of our choosing.”
Lt Gen Sampath Kumar (retd) advocated that Indian forces should not succumb to an immediate reaction. “Pak expects and is ready for reaction. Do not succumb. Hit at your choice of place and at time of your choosing. Surprise a key factor,” he tweeted. He also tweeted that the Indian High Commissiuoner in Islamabad should be withdrawn and the Pakistan High Commisisoner in New Delhi should be sent back.
More direct views calling for resolute action have also emanated on Whatsapp where senior as well as middle rung officers have been found to be discussing various military options which are available before the Indian military. The discussion ranges from initiating action to occupy vulnerable Pakistani posts along the LoC to using the covert assets to target the leaders of terror networks deep inside Pakistan.