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Response to Uri Attack

Lt Gen Chander Prakash (Retd) writes: Much has been in the news for last about 48 hours about the attack on the Logistic Base of an Army’s Brigade Headquarters on the early hours of the morning of 18 Sep 16. Emotional rhetoric is soon changing to a logical analysis and the message emerging is “ avoid rash military action”.

Lt Gen Chander Prakash (Retd) writes: Much has been in the news for last about 48 hours about the attack on the Logistic Base of an Army’s Brigade Headquarters on the early hours of the morning of 18 Sep 16.   Emotional rhetoric is soon changing to a logical analysis and the message emerging  is  “ avoid rash military action”.  The Director General of Military Operations stated in the press briefing  “ we shall respond at a place and time of own choosing” or words to that effect. The DGMO echoing the sentiments of the Prime Minister also assured you that the Army remains prepared to thwart any nefarious designs and any evil designs of the adversary shall be given a befitting reply”.

The retired diplomats and some spokespersons from the political parties have gone on to suggest that Pakistan must be isolated on the diplomatic front and economic pressure must be brought to bear on Pakistan through some powerful nations with whom India does business.  Some have also suggested using the threats of abrogation of Indus Water Treaty to put bring Pakistan to its knees.  These are all measures which are only likely to be effective against Pakistan at best in the long term and to great degree their effectiveness lies in the support that India receives from the International Community.

While all the above appear to be well reasoned and logical but the nation must not be seen as a weak nation.  For a nation which aspires to be a great nation and regional power needs to be strong. Hence, both prevention and deterrence have to be in place.  The military commanders at the operational and tactical level have to exercise initiative and be given freedom to act and be supported, if things go wrong for some reason when acting in good faith. Timely action is of essence. Earlier the better else the window of opportunity closes.  It needs no emphasise that any action taken in military terms or for that matter in a covert action has to be nothing else but a success.  There will be a price to pay for being perceived as a strong nation and risks involved accepted.  In real terms it is a small price to pay for the aspirations and long term development and growth of the nation.

On a different note, many TV channels are discussing the short comings and the various options the nation could adopt. Shortcomings, no doubt have to be overcome.  Discussions on the options are unwarranted as they warn the adversary of what to expect. Actions will speak for themselves and loudly.

Further, much has been talked of the visit of the COAS or the Defence Minister to J&K immediately after the incident has happened.  If it leads to stimulating the Army to take a prompt action against the adversary, it should be seen as a welcome step. All instruments of the government; be it political, military, diplomatic and intelligence services must work in unison for national interest. Aim of any action taken must be to deter Pakistan from its nefarious designs.

 

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