With 10 days having elapsed since the terror attack on the army camp in Uri, the surgical strikes by the Army along the LoC on Thursday came at a time when India was least expecting it. A military action was least expected from the government which so far seemed to be looking for diplomatic options to tighten the noose around Pakistan. But the Army stood by its word and gave Pakistan a reply “at the place and time of our choice”.
Though the Indian Army didn’t elaborate much on the attack of release pictures or videos, the contradicting statements from Pakistan made it clear that they had indeed been on the receiving end of strong military action from the Indian forces. In the morning, Pakistani media flashed news about two of their soldiers being killed by India in violation of the ceasefire. Though it was seen as a regular hue and cry by Pakistan, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), told the media about the Army’s overnight operation on terrorist launchpads.
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Congratulatry message to the Army and pictures of celebrations from across India were seen across social media platforms, but many remain unsatisfied seking concrete evidence of the type American showcased after the strike that killed Osama Bin Laden in Abotabad. Well, considering the nature of the strike, there might not be an videos of the action and expecting Pakistan to acknowledge the damage is pointless.
At first, Pakistan rubbished the reports of surgical strike as fabrication of truth, news agency ANI later quoted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as saying he condemned the strike by Indian forces. So condemnation and contradictions came almost in a span of a few hours. Then came the denouncement of Pakistan government by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan who vowed to give a befiting reply to Narendra Modi, something which Sharif couldn’t. Khan said he will show his prime minister Nawaz Sharif how to react to such aggressions. This made even Pakistani media confused what had actually happened. Very soon Sharif called for a meeting of federal cabinet to discuss the growing tensions between India and Pakistan, making the picture clear.
Back in India, people living within 10 kms of the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab were asked to shift to safer places and schools ordered to be shut anticipating retaliation by Pakistani forces in the wake of surgical strike. The ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab was also cancelled and tourists told to return.
But what added sheen to the success of the strike was the Opposition’s reaction. From Congress to Left and regional parties, all hailed Army’s surgical strike and priased government’s action to “protect the country’s security and deal with the menace of terrorism from across the border.” The action taken by the government will surely have its repercussion in the coming days, but it has certainly calmed the outrage after the Uri attack.