India has many options to retaliate and take punitive action against the attack on Indian soldiers at the India-Pakistan border. But stealth strikes are the best.
There has been an outrage across India as a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) sneaked across the Line of Control and killed two Indian soldiers. Later the bodies of the Indians were beheaded.
The highly trained BAT, along with a few trained terrorists, sneaked into Indian territory under cover of heavy shelling in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday and carried out the planned attack.
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So, what should India do? Attack Pakistan, as many have been suggesting on social media?
Here are the options:
Appoint a Full-Fledged Defence Minister
India should have a full-fledged Defence Minister. This is an important portfolio and cannot be handled be Arun Jaitley who has Finance on his hands. His plate is already full, thanks to the GST and other issues. So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should appoint a strong Defence Minister – a post that has been vacant ever since Manohar Parikkar went to Goa to become the Chief Minister there.
Go in for Stealth Attack
The Indian government has given full powers to the Army to take suitable action. The best way to take retaliatory action is to attack Pakistani post using highly calculated stealth. There are reports that following the Monday attack, two Pakistani bunkers were scorched and seven soldiers killed. India should keep attacking the bunkers and terror camps across the border.
India should take a lesson or two from Israel where, after an attack, highly trained Army troops immediately go into enemy territory in various formations to draw out and execute enemy forces in what is called `controlled retaliation.’
This is the best option.
Follow Trump’s Hardline Policy
India could also learn from how US President Donald Trump tackles enemies with show of brutal strength. India could marshal its armed forces and train its firepower at Pakistan but fall just short of a formal attack. This would rattle Islamabad and upset their plans at the LoC.
Pakistan, to an extent, is using this tactic, but in a different way. The ISI has been busy instigating the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Army is tied down there. There are, at times, chances that when Pakistan trained elements instigate trouble in Kashmir, the focus at LoC gets a bit blurred.
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India has one of the best arrays of satellites that can detect any movement on the ground. Many of these satellites are snooping satellites made exclusively for defence purposes. These satellites should be used to A) detect any movement at the border; B) Identify the terror training camps across the border for potential attack; C) Identify bunkers that are potential threat to India. All the information gathered should be handed over to the Armed Forces in real time so that stern and deadly action can follow within minutes.
This is the option that Pakistan Army and the ISI have been itching for. But from an Indian perspective, war is not an option. Pakistan Army’s, and that of ISI, plan is to draw India to a war. Islamabad’s aim is not for a victory, but to cripple India’s booming economy. The social media has been baying for blood, but India should not fall into the trap laid by Pakistan.
India can launch a strong diplomatic action. But past experiences have shown that such initiatives have hardly borne any fruit. But back channel diplomacy can help mount pressure on Islamabad.
Dual Power Centres
Pakistan is a strange country. It has two power centres – one a democratically elected government and the Army. India can only talk to the Government in Islamabad, but it is fruitless. The real power centres are the Pakistani Army and the ISI. Pakistani Army controls the government and the ISI executes all the nefarious activities of the Pakistani Army against India.
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What is significant is that the attack against India took place less than 24 hours after Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the LoC on Sunday. So, was this a planned attack?
Meanwhile, the BAT raid on Monday, during which bodies of Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh (22 Sikh Regiment) and head constable Prem Sagar (200 BSF Battalion) were left mutilated, is the third such episode since the ‘surgical strikes’ against terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 29.
India should launch “punitive” action against Pakistan, but through stealth attacks.
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