India confirmed on Thursday morning that Indian armed forces carried out surgical strikes on terrorist positions along the Line of Control (Loc). This comes as a big statement of intent from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India will not sit quietly in the face of adversity and it will act to neutralise any threat to the country. The cross-border surgical strike on Wednesday night follows attempts by India to solve the issue diplomatically which failed on account of Pakistan’s unwillingness to act on terrorists operating from its soil against India.
Video: Watch DGMO announce India’s surgical strike
Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup made the announcements at a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon. The operation was obviously kept under the wraps due to operational concerns, but this strike has been long awaited. The DGMO revealed that India has foiled at least 20 infiltration bids from Pakistan during this year and the Poonch and Uri terror attacks were not the last planned. He revealed that further strikes were planned against India and after Indian forces received intelligence of these terror launch pads being mobilised, Indian Army acted to neutralise them.
The surgical strikes are a shift from the first adopted peaceful retaliation stance of PM Modi. It was logical to counter Pakistan on diplomatic terms, but continued efforts from Pakistan to support terrorists and infiltration activities in India have shown the clear picture of Pakistan’s position and intentions to support peace activities in India. Now, it is upon Pakistan to cooperate with the Indian forces that announced there are no further plans to carry out any such attacks for the time being. Pakistan has committed in January 2004 that it will not allow its soil to be used for any terror sanctuaries and terrorist activities on India. Meanwhile, India has continuously presented proof of Pakistani terrorists being trained by Pakistani forces to prepare them for such acts.
The situation stays tense between the two countries and Indian Army has stated that the Indian forces are prepared for any contingency. Any escalation from Pakistan will definitely put it on the lower moral ground. Additionally, under the concerns of Pakistan’s military retaliation, the US has also stepped in to attempt and calm the situation. US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier urged India and Pakistan to restrain from escalation. Meanwhile, according to reports, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice called India’s NSA Ajit Doval affirming the US’ expectations that it will act against UN-designated terrorist entities like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups affiliated to these.