Speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Air Power Studies, Singh said, “Balakot reflected our approach against employment of terrorism as a low-cost option against India. It also indicated that terrorists, terrorist infrastructure and terrorist training facilities in areas beyond LoC and IB when employed against India, will no longer be a safe haven.”
The airstrikes, he said, “will continue to reiterate India’s intent to employ the most appropriate resources for the intended impact, with an element of unpredictability and innovation as an integral part of the endeavour”. He emphasised that it is “this factor that must remain uppermost in our minds”.
Singh said the airstrikes made “amply clear” that terrorism cannot “proliferate under veiled threats and bogeys that have repeatedly been voiced by irresponsible and ill-informed leaders from across the border”. India, he said, was earlier “seen as a country that did not respond adequately to terrorism despite grave provocations” but the surgical strikes and Balakot airstrikes “changed that perception once and for all”.
On the international response to the airstrikes, Singh said “the world stood as one against terrorism and its employment for perceived strategic gains” and thanked all partner nations “who recognised the challenge posed by terrorism to be greater than narrow parochial pronouncements”.
He said the world “remains committed in the fight against terrorism and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with India in forcing countries like Pakistan to bring terrorist leaders to justice”. He also mentioned the recent impact of collective diplomatic and financial pressure on Pakistan.
Talking about changes being brought about in the three services — the Army, Navy and Air Force — Singh said that some “major structural changes” have been initiated “in the way we intend tackling threats to our nation” and it will take some time for the entire set-up to be fully operational.
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