Minister of State of the Ministry of External Affairs V K Singh on Wednesday said the aim of surgical strikes was to send a stern message to Pakistan that India will not accept continued terrorism as new normal. Speaking at Ministry of External Affairs’ mid-term press conference, Singh said, “The aim of surgical strike was to convey to Pakistan that we will not accept continuance of terrorism as the new norm. Our own good faith has been amply demonstrated time and again through repeated initiatives to normalise the relationship. However, as we have often stated, talks and terror cannot go together.” The press conference largely focused on MEA’s work in the last two and a half years.
Speaking on terrorism, Singh added that barring Pakistan, all the countries of the region have demonstrated their willingness to stand together against the menace of terrorism that could undermine their collective hopes. “India too, has shown that we will not back down in the face of assaults against the security of our people, the prosperity of the region and the interests of the international community,” he said. The Indian Army had conducted overnight surgical strikes across the Line of Control on September 29 reportedly in response to the dastardly Uri attack by terrorists from across the border which left at least 18 soldiers dead in its wake.
Highlighting the government’s priority in the protection and safety of Indians abroad, Singh said the welfare of our citizens, whether they are in Baghdad or Brisbane, has been the guiding priority of our Government over the last 31 months, and we have consciously placed it front and centre of our foreign policy. “We have let our actions speak louder than our words ever could – in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and in the wider Gulf region, and Europe and the Americas. We have done so, not only based on the principle that Indians abroad must benefit from the protection of the Indian state but also on the broader notion that each human life is sacred. It is this that motivated the rescue of 1947 Foreign Nationals from 48 countries stranded in Yemen, and many foreign nationals from Nepal following the earthquake in Nepal,” he said.
The surgical strikes targeted seven terror launch pads across using heliborne and ground forces. Several political leaders, cutting across party lines, have since hailed the Army for successfully executing surgical strikes and backed the Modi government’s decision as a befitting retaliation to Pakistan.
A surgical strike is essentially a swift and targeted attack on specific target that aims to neutralise them while ensuring minimum collateral damage to the surrounding areas and civilians. Neutralisation of targets with surgical strikes also prevents escalation to a full blown war.