Defence veterans call Pakistan the perpetrator, want strategic response

Defence veterans call Pakistan the perpetrator, want strategic response

Terrorism has become Pakistan’s foreign and defence policy towards India, say army veterans.

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An Army soldier near Army Brigade camp during a terror attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. PTI Photo

REACTING TO the deadly terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, near the Line of Control, in which 17 soldiers of the Indian Army were martyred and many more wounded, the veterans from the Armed Forces in Pune stressed the need “for an immediate and strategic response.”

Lt Gen D B Shekatkar (Retd), who has a vast experience of commanding units in border areas said, “I refuse to call it an attack by a terror group or an attack by non-state actors. The attackers are trained by the Pakistani Army and are supported by the Pakistani establishment. I also refuse to call Pakistan a victim of terrorism, it is undoubtedly the perpetrator. Terrorism has now become Pakistan’s official foreign and defence policy towards India. I believe that the Army should be empowered to respond force with force immediately. We will have to keep punishing the adversary till they learn a lesson. The response of the country like India should be local, immediate and covert.”

He further said, “It so happens that people start discussing possibility of a war at such junctures. However, we must understand that Pakistan has already waged a proxy war against India. A conventional war is not an answer to the proxy war. As the phrase goes fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla, we must fight a terrorist like a terrorist.”

Major General Shashikant Pitre (Retd) who has served in Uri, said, “When one looks at this particular incident in Uri, there is scope to believe that the terrorists had specific local information about the ongoing shifting of the units. As far as response of the Indian establishment is concerned, the statements that we will do something, will not work. Quick and strong response is necessary otherwise people will not have the same faith in the government as they have today. The response must not be impulsive but it has to be multifaceted, credible and minimum. ”

Group Captain Dilip Parulkar (Retd), an Indian Air Force veteran of two wars against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 and whose escape from the war prisoner camp near Rawalpindi in 1971 is a well-documented story, said, “I personally find it disappointing that there is no immediate and proportionate response from the Indian side. It need not be in the same area. If they choose their target we can choose ours, specially where they are least prepared. As far as Air Force is concerned, helicopters can be used but it must be done caution as use of Air Force can escalate the conflict. Giving a fitting response is not going to be easy as it is a sensitive area but we will have to do it.”

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