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Lt General D S Hooda: Was wary of Pakistan retaliation after surgical strike

Calling the successful operation a shattering of the glass ceiling, Lt Gen Hooda said the Army can do another successful surgical strike.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: September 20, 2017 9:30 pm
 D S Hooda, Surgical strike, Pakistan, Surgical strike on Pakistan, Cross border terrorism, India Pakistan, India news, Indian Express Lt General D S Hooda (Express File Photo)

Breaking his silence on the surgical strikes by the Special Forces on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) a year ago, Lt General (retd) D S Hooda, who planned and oversaw the strikes, has told The Indian Express that the operation was “very complex with multiple targets to be struck on the same night, each with a unique profile”.

Lt Gen Hooda, who was then the Northern Army Commander, said “what happened was that we went across the Line of Control at multiple places in Pakistan’s 10 Corps (area) and caught them by total surprise”. He said “the operation was a complete success” and he “would not touch any part of the plan and do it differently”.

“We had to kill terrorists, but hundred terrorists killed and one soldier left behind would have been a failure,” he said.

Also read | Interview with D S Hooda: ‘Can we do another surgical strike? Yes. Glass ceiling has been broken’

“The crucial part about the operation was not about the number of terrorists killed but the safe return of all our soldiers. The operation was very complex with multiple targets to be struck on the same night, each with a unique profile. The difference in time between striking the first and last target was in hours,” he said. “Daybreak had already broken by the time the last of our soldiers were back.”

Accepting that the night of the operation — September 28-29, 2016 — “was definitely sleepless”, he said “it was such an uplifting feeling when reports started coming in about different groups safely returning across the Line of Control”.

He said the Army was “wary of retaliation” from Pakistan after the surgical strikes “but the moment Pakistan refused to acknowledge the strike, we knew we had won the moral battle”.

Calling the successful operation a shattering of the glass ceiling, Lt Gen Hooda said the Army can do another successful surgical strike as “Special Forces have gained tremendous confidence in their ability to execute a complex operation in very hostile territory”.

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  1. Anthony Mathias
    Sep 20, 2017 at 10:40 pm
    What is surprising is that the Army Chief does not talk during his tenure in office and such statements are made by the DGMO. The statement of the DGMO is brief without details. Now you have a retired army chief clarifying and i think a serving major writing a book, which is not allowed.Why was this not done during his tenure, why this clarification without responsibility of what has been said. You should have read the press what stories they came out with how the strike was performed and what were the weapons used and what were the casualties inflicted. Where did they get this information or was it a propaganda effort by the press for the ruling party. Their stories are far from what has been stated by the General. I think there was no surgical strike as is made out to be. Some troops crossed the border and attacked pakistani military posts close by and inflicted some casualties. You know we loose troops BSF etc patrolling the border to mortar and ambush firing.
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    1. Anthony Mathias
      Sep 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm
      I am of the belief there was no need to carry out such a operation if the target was only 3 Km away. The target could have been nullified with a heavy barrage of mortars or light artillery peppering the area. The target was close and identified and if used in the night it would have deadly effect of nullifying the target. Tell me we cannot reduce a target to smithereens with the armament we have. You could have stood out a Km away and used rocket launchers and sniper rifles . It is surprising that after firing and raising alarm that the commandos could come back without loss trudging 3 Km without challenge. It is surprising that the Pak army did not scramble helicopter gunships or drop para commandos in the area. No commander would accept such a dangerous mission when there were other means of nullifying the targets. Lt Gen Hooda was this only for the press to satisfy the public that Modi has done something he promised. The strike does not add up.
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        sullu
        Sep 20, 2017 at 9:08 pm
        no one supported in international media or UN HINDU SATAN CLAIM. HINDU SATAN live in fantasy world, believing in fake bollywood .
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          sullu
          Sep 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm
          jokers, all international media and UN said India did bull . now shut up.
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            K Janardhana
            Sep 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm
            Blessings to Special forces who went for surgical strikes. Pakistan Army now realised that India is quite different from Earlier governments.
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