New Delhi: Facing taunts from his opponents for showing no brawn against Pakistan-sponsored terror while in power, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally took military action to avenge the Uri attacks of Sep 18 that left 19 soldiers dead.
Indian Army special forces commandos numbering around 200 carried out surgical strikes at 7-8 launch pads of terrors up to 8 km inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC) last night. The operations, carried out by Indian commandos after sneaking across the Loc, ended around 4.30 am today, leaving up to 50 terrorists killed. India announced that the operations have since ended.
Pakistan, however, rubbished the Indian Army claims of surgical strikes, but had to admit that there were artillery shelling by Indian troopers that left a few of its soldiers dead in the intervening night of September 28 and 29.
The justification for the cross-border attack on terror camps came from Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh at a joint press briefing with Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
This was probably the first-ever claim of a cross-border covert military attack by India and hence has some historical value. This may also be the first time India has publicly cross the LoC with Pakistan since the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971.
For that reason alone, Modi has raised the benchmark for any Indian response to future Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks on India.
For more details, here is the text of Lt Gen. Ranbir Singh’s statement or check out the video at the end of the statement:
Ladies and gentlemen, Jai Hind and a very good afternoon to all of you. It has been a matter of serious concern that there has been continuing and increasing infiltration by terrorists across the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.
This is reflected in the terrorist attacks at Poonch and Uri on 11th and 18th of September respectively. Almost 20 infiltration attempts have been foiled by the Indian army successfully during this year. During these terrorist attacks and infiltration attempts we have recovered items including Global Positioning Systems and stores which have had Pakistani markings.
Further, captured terrorists hailing from Pakistan or Pakistan Occupied Kashmir have confessed to their training and arming in Pakistan or territory under the control of Pakistan.
The matter has been taken up at the highest diplomatic levels and the military levels at regular times. India has also offered consular access to the apprehended terrorists to Pakistan to verify their confessions.
Furthermore, we have proposed that finger prints and DNA samples of terrorists who have been killed in Uri and Poonch encounters can also be made available to Pakistan for their investigations.
Despite our persistent urging that Pakistan respect its commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India, there have been no letup in infiltrations or terrorist actions inside our territory.
If the damage has been limited it has been primarily due the efforts of soldiers of Indian army who are deployed in a multi-tier counter infiltration grid and most of the infiltration bids have been foiled at those locations. The Indian armed forces have been extremely vigilant in the face of continuing threat.
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.
The operations were basically focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country.
During these counter terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them. The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise.
I have just spoken to the Pakistani Director General of Military Operations and explained our concerns and also shared with him the operations we had conducted last night.
It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region, but we can certainly not allow the terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack the citizens of our country.
In line with Pakistan’s commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control for any terrorist activities against India, we expect the Pakistani army to cooperate with us with a view to erase this menace of terrorism from our region. Thank you very much.”