September 30th, 2016
Surgical Strike Against Pakistani Terrorists
In the wake of the Uri attack that killed 18 Indian soldiers, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads on Wednesday night across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan. The surgical strike killed several terrorists causing significant casualties and heavy damages.
What the army said?
The news of the surgical strike went public after the director general of military operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh announced in the afternoon yesterday, “Based on very credible and specific information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir and in various other metros in our country, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launch pads.” He provided no other information and further stated, “counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them. The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations.”
What are surgical strikes?
Before moving on to the entire timeline of events, let us first clear the doubt about what surgical strike is.
A surgical strike is defined as a military attack intended to inflict damage on a specific target, with little or no collateral damage to surrounding areas. A surgical strike is “a calculated manoeuvre to ensure you deliver maximum damage which gives a big surprise to your adversary”, explained former air chief Fali Homi Major, describing the Indian Army’s operation as “well conducted, well done”.
The breakdown of events
- In basic terms, this strikes are a principal self-defence strategy in face of the imminent threat by terrorists across the LoC. Pakistan had refused to act against such terror groups.
- The strike was aimed to destabilise terrorist infrastructure rather than Pakistani military. However, casualties were inflicted upon “those trying to protect” the terrorists there, presumed to be Pakistani military.
- According to the DGMO, the operation was conducted by the army. But as he didn’t mention any detail, it is not possible to completely rule out that the air force didn’t take part in the strikes. The army has claimed unofficially, the strikes targeted seven different ‘terrorist launch pads” at a distance of 500 metres to about a kilometre across the LoC.
- Now if we rule out the possibility of the involvement of air force, then possibly, firing across the LoC has been done using mortar, artillery or even missiles, or raids by special forces, moving either on foot or using helicopters to enter. If seven targets were hit, as some sources have put out, a combination of these methods could have been used. The Pakistani side says only cross-LoC firing took place. PTI quoted unidentified Indian “sources” as saying the also strikes involved soldiers on the ground.
- Yesterday, the Pakistan announced had claimed that two of its soldiers had been killed and nine injured in cross-LoC firing by the Indian army in the wee hours of the day. The announcement had come before India’s DGMO arranged the press conference. The Pak army later released a statement there had been any Indian cross-border raids and that the Indians were claiming cross-LoC fire as “surgical strikes”.
- It is predicted that the Indian army had conducted a major strike because the US intervened into the matter very quickly. The US condemned the September 18 Uri attack resulting to the downturn of Indo-Pak relationship and stressed that Pakistan needs to take effective action against UN-designated “terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and their affiliates.”
- This strike was majorly a warning from India that they won’t remain silent if Pakistan does not take any action against the terror outfits.
- Since Pakistan claimed that there was no surgical strikes, it is somehow favourable for India because this won’t build up the tension to that level which will reciprocate into fierce strike back by Pakistan. Again, India’s decision to not disclose the matter entirely has helped prevent the building up of public pressure in Pakistan for some sort of retaliation.