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Nagrota attack: Stop meaningless debate on surgical strikes and focus on security lapses

The Nagrota attack has expectedly given rise to questions on the efficacy of India’s surgical strikes. The Indian Army, which took another major hit with two of its officers and five soldiers falling to fidayeen bullets, is yet to complete its combing operation, but critics and some political parties have already started suggesting that the operation carried out by India’s elite commandos across the LoC was much hype and little substance.

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota. PTI

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota. PTI

The death of 26 Indian soldiers since 29 September is a clear indication, goes the argument, that instead of restraining Pakistan, the strikes seem to have emboldened our neighbour to carry out more terrorist attacks. The contention is that the surgical strikes were more a political confabulation for the Narendra Modi government rather than an effective anti-terror tool.

There is a lot of room for criticism in Modi’s blow hot-blow cold Pakistan policy. Like many of his predecessors, the incumbent prime minister was also driven by an initial urge to author a new chapter in India-Pakistan history. Subsequent developments have perhaps taught him that one cannot rationalise a relationship with a revisionist nation — one that continues to be driven by Ghazwa-e-Hind dreams.

Be that as it may, the haste to label surgical strikes a failure for another terrorist attack on an army base is more than a little problematic. Such an argument is guilty of oversimplification. It is more an exercise of our confirmation bias and strikes at our ideological fault lines than focus energies on a hard-nosed, rational analysis.

Aversion or affinity towards current political dispensation must not cloud our judgement on the efficacy of the strikes, which were carried out by a professional army unit and was the culmination of an extraordinary synchronisation of efforts. It was also a welcome departure from India’s reflexive stoicism towards Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks. The rush to call it “ineffective” stems from a lack of understanding of the operation’s objectives.

As this columnist has argued in the past, the surgical strikes were not meant to prevent Pakistan from abandoning its decades-old terror policy. Nobody in their right minds would assume that one covert operation is enough to persuade Pakistan to dismantle its terror infrastructure and reverse its policy of using terrorism as a foreign policy tool — one that has brought it rich dividends.

The Pakistani Army would be a fool to let go of terrorism — its one strategic lever against a much more powerful and prosperous neighbour. What, then, was the point of those surgical strikes? There was never a doubt that the covert op, which was subsequently publicised, was an effort by India to raise the bar for retaliatory attacks while staying below Pakistan’s nuclear threshold. For a country that drops the nuclear threat at every possible opportunity, the cross-LoC attacks exposed Pakistan’s nuclear bluff.

It proved to the rest of the world, and also to some in India, that Islamabad’s frequent nuclear threats were meant more as a strategic deterrence against India’s response to terror attacks. Surgical strikes annihilated that deterrence.

But while deriding surgical strikes is pointless, it is important to highlight the grave and repeated security lapses that have contributed towards yet another attack on an Army base. Alarmingly, since 29 September, there have been at least a dozen attacks as terrorist infiltrated the border and launched attacks in different areas of Jammu and Kashmir including Nagrota, Baramulla, Bandipore, Sopore, Shopian and Pampore, among others. Altogether, 26 Indian soldiers including BSF personnel, and army jawans and officers have been killed.

While at one level, it reflects Pakistan’s outgoing chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif’s desperate attempts to save face after getting bruised in the surgical strikes, at another level it also points to crucial lacunae in India’s security apparatus. Apprehending suicide attackers is tougher since their motivation levels are high but the repeated breaches of heavily-guarded army bases send a worrying signal about our preparedness or lack of it.

As disturbing details emerge of the fidayeen strike on Nagrota where a hostage-like situation involving civilians have luckily been averted, questions must be raised on an apparent lack of standard operating procedure when it comes to blocking or preventing such attacks. Heads must roll if it is found that our security intelligence network isn’t up to scratch or fatigue and complacency played its part.

The 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu is 55 kilometres away from the border. It must be asked how heavily armed terrorists — albeit dressed in police attire — managed to remain undetected before launching the attack.

A report in The Huffington Post claims that the terrorists had infiltrated the border at least a week ago and had done a thorough recce of the camp before launching their mission. Quoting a Ministry of Defence official, the report states that the police uniforms that the terrorists were wearing were stitched in India and couldn’t have been “done in a day, indicating that the terrorists were already in India for some time”. They had also purchased medicines from local pharmacy, added the report.

This, if true, raises several more uncomfortable questions on our intelligence and monitoring system and whether our military bases and security installations are “soft targets”.

A Times of India report points out, quoting defence sources, that there was “very little follow-up action” to the comprehensive recommendations of the tri-service committee, led by former army chief Lieutenant-General Philip Campose (retd), which was constituted after the 2 January terror strike on the Pathankot airbase.

These are damning indications. Discussions must be centred around these loopholes instead of meaningless, politicised debates of one-upmanship over surgical strikes.

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 15:27 IST

‘When will the government show its patriotism?’ Sena needles Centre over LoC tension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Needling the Centre over Pakistan’s offensive and mutilation of the body of an Indian soldier, Shiv Sena on Thursday said the Union government, which took credit for the surgical strike across LoC, should now admit its failure to bring an end to killings at the border.”In the case of demonetization, the government is coming out with new proof that would make people patriots. But it is not ready to talk on the activities of Pakistan at the border. When will the government show its patriotism by avenging the killings and beheadings of Indian soldiers?” an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana said.After the surgical strike Pakistani activities have only increased and deaths of soldiers have doubled, it said. In spite of Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s tough talk, three soldiers have been killed at the border, it said. “If the government took political mileage out of the surgical strike, it should now accept its failure as well,” the NDA ally said.”If the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has made everyone come out on the streets with one decision (of demonetization), he needs to take a similar decision one evening to crush Pakistan,” it said. In a cross-LoC attack by suspected Pakistani terrorists on Tuesday, three Indian soldiers were killed, with body of one of them being mutilated, after which the Indian Army launched a massive counter assault along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir.

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 to go off immediately, Hasmukh Adhia calls is ‘surgical strike on black money’

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 to go off immediately, Hasmukh Adhia calls is ‘surgical strike on black money’

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New Delhi: The government’s move to withdraw currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination is its boldest step and a “surgical strike on black money”, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Tuesday.

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia. Image courtesy PIBRevenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia. Image courtesy PIB

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia. Image courtesy PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes with effect from
midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency, and corruption.

“This is the biggest and the boldest step by the government for containing black money. It is like a surgical
strike on black money,” Adhia tweeted.

Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the step is another move to attack the biggest menace facing the country.

“Citizens must understand, cooperate & join the fight against corruption,” Lavasa tweeted.

Modi said people holding notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts
from 10 November till 30 December.

Ratings – /5

Will there be surgical strikes against China: Shiv Sena to Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena asked the Centre if there will be a similar action against China, like the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads at the LoC in September. “The time has come to look at Chinese incursions (in Indian territory) seriously. Surgical strikes against China, similar to the ones carried out against Pakistan, will be the befitting answer,” the Sena said. “Will there be such an attack (against China),” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana asked.”When one speaks against Pakistan in public rallies, one gets claps as a response. There is a need to get out of this mindset of clapping and look at the Chinese incursions seriously,” the Sena said. “From Ladakh to Arunachal and Sikkim, the Chinese actions have been going on unabated since several years. The real question is who will stop China,” the editorial said.The Sena referred to reports that Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a stand-off since Wednesday in Ladakh’s Demchok area as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops entered an area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and stopped the construction work on an irrigation canal under the MNREGA scheme. “Around 60 Chinese soldiers intrude in our territory and stop developmental work. What inference should one draw from this,” it said.”Our loudmouth Defence Minister should clarify what action did our soldiers take against these Chinese troops,” the editorial said. “Warning Pakistan is not enough. The Defence Minister’s job is also to protect the borders with China,” the Sena said.

Heavy-artillery Diwali catches Pak napping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After September 29, when the Indian Army took the Pakistan army by surprise through the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), they went into the assault mode again on Saturday.The Indian Army decimated four outposts of the Pakistan army, along the Line of Control (LoC), opposite the Keran sector in north Kashmir. “Four Pakistani posts were destroyed in a massive fire assault in the Keran sector. Heavy casualties inflicted,” tweeted the Army’s Northern Command.Officers privy to the action describe the assault as a coup de maître as the Pakistan army was given no time to respond to the barrage of firepower using heavy-weapon systems. “These four posts were tactically placed and used to facilitate infiltration by the militants,” said an Army officer.Decimating the posts was not an action taken overnight or in a hurry, they said. But the decapitation of the soldier in the Machil sector on Friday proved to be the trigger and the action, which was in the planning stage, was fast-tracked. Earlier on Saturday, a BSF soldier and a woman were injured when the Pakistan army violated ceasefire in Keran sector.“It was a carefully-planned operation. From gathering information to keeping a close vigil on Pakistani posts and watch towers, preparing for the assault and using heavy-weapon systems, everything was carefully planned beforehand,” said an officer.Seven Pakistani posts were chosen for the assault and four were completely destroyed. Under a comprehensive plan, Indian Army troops in strategically located posts launched a multi-pronged offensive to pin down the posts.“Indian troops changed the projectile and trajectory of the mortars in a manner that they directly hit the posts. At the same time, troops opened fire with light, medium and heavy machine guns. It created confusion among the Pakistani troops,” said an officer.After pulverising the posts, the Indian Army used rocket launchers to pin down the posts on the ground. “Rockets were fired from different angles, so that the posts were brought down in quick succession. Later, flat-projectile weapon systems were used to ensure that the enemy suffers heavy casualty and none of the troops guarding the posts flee,” said an officer.The difference in the surgical strikes and the destruction of posts was that the Indian Army did not cross the LoC in the Keran sector on Saturday, while it went deep into PoK for the surgical strike on (September 29.)“On Saturday, we maintained an element of surprise. After beheading our soldier, Pakistan might have been preparing for surgical strikes from our side. But we carried out the action in such a manner that their posts were destroyed and inflicted huge casualties by using fire power without crossing the LoC,” said another officer.Figures reveal that Pakistanis have carried out 57 ceasefire violations on the borders since the surgical strike. Around 405 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, resulting in the death of 16 civilians. Of these, 253 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the International Border and 152 along the LoC.

Watch | Maybe RSS teaching was ‘basic core’ for surgical strikes: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the Indian Army was giving a befitting reply to ceasefire violations by Pakistan even as he hit out at those seeking proof of cross LoC surgical strikes. “Violations are regularly taking place for the last five-six years, you can take out figures. But the only thing that has changed now is that we are giving effective reply,” he said. To a question on security lapses, Parrikar said, “When you are doing things and if there are lapses in it, then mistakes should be rectified.” He was quoted saying by ANI: “Mahatma ke gaon se aane wale PM,Goa se Defence Min aur surgical strike, equation was different ,maybe RSS teaching was basic core. (Despite a PM coming from Mahatma’s land, and a defence minister from Goa with no history of a martial race we carried out surgical strikes. Maybe RSS teaching was basic core.) He was quoted saying by Indian Express: “I wonder that a Prime Minister from land of Mahatma Gandhi and a defence minister from Goa and surgical strikes, the situation was quite… maybe the RSS teachings was there, but this was very different kind of combination.” He also spoke about criticism against the government and said: “After 18 soldiers were martyred in Uri we had to face a lot of difficult situations. Till the 29th of September, the Prime Minister was targeted on the social media and in other media. Some share of the criticism was also directed towards me.”Surgical strikes, he said, have increased the sensitivity among Indians regarding national security in a very effective way. “From the day of strike till today some politicians are seeking proof,” Parrikar said without taking any names. “When Indian Army says something we should believe it. It (Army) is world’s best, professional, brave and having a very high integrity. I do not feel that anybody will seek proof from them (Army) here in Ahmedabad,” Parrikar said. “Two good things have happened after the surgical strikes. First thing is except some politicians, every Indian is rising in unison and standing behind our brave soldiers.And the second thing is we (Indians) have acquired sensitivity regarding national security in a very effective way,” he said at a function here of Nirma University, called ‘Know my Army’. Parrikar praised the university for organising such a programme and called upon youths to join the Army. Later, Parrikar while talking to reporters, said one thing is clear that his government is serious about national security.On the illegal sneaking-in of people in Gujarat from border adjoining Pakistan, Parrikar said, “BSF is tightening security at the border. You also know that this is a difficult area where we cannot put up fences as it is a marshy area. But we will use technology and fill the gaps to ensure no unauthorised person enters our territory.” With agency inputs

Surgical Strikes: Don’t mind sharing but major credit goes to PM Modi, says Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid bitter politics of oneupmanship over the surgical strikes, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said all Indians including those who have raised doubts can share credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party.At the same time, he said that a large share of credit does go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for decision-making and planning.”I don’t mind sharing the credit, including on surgical strike, with every countryman because it is done by our armed forces and not by any political party. So all Indians, including, those doubting it also, can share the credit,” he said at a function here.He said sharing of credit will settle the nerves of many. The Minister said he understands the sentiments of the people and they are satisfied now.Several political leaders and parties have questioned the surgical strike and have sought proof. The Congress, while officially supporting the government over the strike, has also said that similar operations were undertaken during its tenure also.

What Prime Minister Narendra Modi should say at the Dussehra rally today

As the country awaits anxiously for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Dussehra rally in Lucknow, there a question on everybody’s mind: how would he approach the surgical strikes, an issue that has left the country’s political parties divided? Will he assuage ruffled feathers or will he make the divide deeper by taking a hard political stand? We will have to wait for that till the evening. If he is keen on cooling tempers, he can opt for this speech. Here we go:

Brothers and sisters,

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

Today is Dussehra. My best wishes to all of you. We have gathered here to celebrate the victory of the good over the evil. While the fate of evil calls for celebration, I cannot stop reminding myself that it is back here year after year with all its crooked heads intact despite its crushing defeat it is handed out. It revives itself, maybe one head and two arms at a time, while we are busy with our overlong rejoicing. Perhaps we get too carried away by victory or equate a minor retreat of the enemy with total defeat. Whatever it is, the fact is we lose the sense of balance and get distracted, allowing the enemy to recover.

That brings me to the topic of equanimity. Our ancient texts would say it is a state of mind that is attained after one frees oneself from all worldly attachments, physical and sentimental. It is a condition of equipoise where all notions of pain and pleasure become irrelevant. The person is neither ecstatic nor depressed over the success or failure of his actions; victory or defeat doesn’t drive him to extreme reactions. But the state of equanimity does not mean a state of inaction. The person has to do what he must, and do it well. As a country, we have to do what we must. But let’s not get overwhelmed by our own successes.

The surgical strikes against Pakistan-backed terrorists have left us is a state of excitement. But we must remember it is only a small episode in a big, continuous war. We have defeated Pakistan four times but it has shown the ability to revive itself, the way Ravana does with all his heads every year. One big blow does not mean the end of evil. We have to be alert, on our toes all the time. We don’t know where and how the enemy is going to strike next. So we must guard against getting distracted in celebrations and wild chest-thumping. A sense of equanimity is a must.

I notice with great concern that the country is getting divided over the military action. Some political parties have started demanding proof while others have been busy painting all those asking for proof as anti-national. This controversy is unwarranted. I make it clear here that the credit for the surgical strikes goes entirely to the defence forces. They have been hitting back at terrorists and Pakistan earlier too and they have done it again. They are doing their job on the border with utmost dedication and bravery. They belong to the country, not to the government and certainly not to any political party.

Our gloating over their action and our criticism of them only shows we are insensitive to them. We want to take unfair advantage of their sacrifice for the country. Let’s stop it. I promise no one from our side will get into politicising the action of defence forces. I expect the opposition to put the matter to rest.

In the battle between good and evil the good always wins. That is what we have been told all the time. But no one ever told us what the win cost the good. It is usually enormous. There’s no such thing as zero-loss war. So let’s get out of war-mongering and think with maturity. It is better you let the government think in its own way. I promise you, we won’t disappoint. We shall strike at the enemy in our own ways appropriately and with no mercy.

The evil has to be defeated. When it’s victory finally, it will be of the entire country, not of any government or of any political party. Wish you all well again.

Mayawati accuses Centre of politicising surgical strikes; war of words erupts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP supremo Mayawati’s remark that the Centre could have delayed the surgical strikes to reap political mileage in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls triggered a sharp exchange on Sunday between the ruling BJP and opposition parties which chose to side with the Dalit leader.While BJP accused Mayawati of communalising the UP poll campaign and using caste to gain electoral mileage, Congress said the ruling party at the Centre was trying to use the army’s surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC for its political gain in the poll-bound state. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have thought of taking political ownership of surgical strikes but doing politics over the action harms the country and such politics is not a matter of honour for the army. Indian army is separate from politics. It will be unfortunate that decisions and actions of army are being used for political mileage,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said. JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said the valour of Indian Army is pride of the nation and it cannot become the programme of a political party. “Those who are doing it are hurting Indian Army,” he said.
ALSO READ ‘Khoon ka dalali’ | Kejriwal criticises Rahul Gandhi’s remark, Amit Shah slams them bothBJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that by raising suspicion on the strikes, the opposition leaders are giving fodder to Pakistan and ISI to run propaganda against India. “The country will not forgive them for this,” he said. Another BJP spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi, said Mayawati does politics of casteism that comes within communal politics. “BJP does politics of communal harmony, not the politics of communalism or casteism. The people doing such casteist or communal politics should correct themselves rather than raising questions about us,” she said.Addressing a rally in Lucknow on the occasion of party founder Kanshi Ram’s 10th death anniversary, Mayawati said a “war hysteria” was being sought to be created by the BJP over the surgical assault, which she said was the right move, but one that came too late. “There is a feeling among people that this (the strikes) could have been delayed for taking political and electoral mileage,” she said, adding had the military action been conducted after the Pathankot attack in January, the lives of 19 soldiers in Uri could have been saved.
ALSO READ Congress is making ISI happy: RS Prasad hits out over Kapil Sibal’s ‘BJP made JeM’ commentRashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha asked whether such brave actions by Indian soldiers should be turned into “cheap Bollywood” style posters by BJP? Is this the way they look at surgical strikes? Is this the way they look at covert operation? Where we are heading to? (BJP President) Amit Shah does not realise that he is demeaning the morale of India army and Indian army is not a political army. It has stood upright in difficult circumstances. I would request the Prime Minister that surgical strikes should not be used for narrow, parochial, right wing gains in the manner of surgical propaganda,” Jha said.Amid demands by opposition parties for proof to back the claim of surgical strikes, Mayawati said and the army alone and not the government should take a decision on this. She also hit out at the Centre for trying to gain “political mileage” by taking credit for the Army’s operation.
ALSO READ Battle royale as political parties spar furiously over surgical strikesShe equated the present “hype” over the strikes with the mood in the US after its forces eliminated Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Lashing out at the Prime Minister for “failing” to fulfil promises made during the Lok Sabha polls, Mayawati said that all sections of society were today feeling “cheated”. “The politics being played in the garb of strikes has never be seen earlier,” she said, adding that the speech delivered by PM Modi on August 15 indicated that anything can be done for gaining political mileage.

‘Khoon ka dalali’ | Kejriwal criticises Rahul Gandhi’s remark, Amit Shah slams them both

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Political temperature soared over Rahul Gandhi’s ‘dalali’ remarks, with BJP chief Amit Shah launching a blistering attack on him, saying he “crossed all limits” and “insulted” the army’s valour as Congress leader insisted he supported the military action but denounced “political propaganda” on the issue. The Congress vice president also came in for criticism from Arvind Kejriwal, who himself is facing flack over his remarks on the army’s surgical strikes across the LoC, with the Delhi Chief Minister urging political parties to set aside their differences and rally behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi.NCP too disapproved of Gandhi’s remarks about the Modi government “profiteering” from the blood spilt by the soldiers. “By making ‘khoon ki dalali’ remarks, Rahul Gandhi has crossed all limits. It was an extreme. By choosing such words, he insulted the bravery of our soldiers and 125 crore people of India,” Shah said.Suggesting that those casting doubts on the authenticity of surgical strikes are “anti-India” leaders, he said, “The whole country, BJP and its government are standing firmly behind the army. We do not believe in the comments of anti-India leaders. We believe in the army’s bullets.” On the backfoot after his barb, apparently aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress vice president said he “unequivocally” backed the army action.”I fully support the surgical strikes and I have said so unequivocally, but I will not support using the Indian Army in political posters and propaganda all across the country,” the Congress vice president said in a series of tweets.He had yesterday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of “hiding behind the blood of soldiers” and said that he was politically exploiting their sacrifices. “Jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong,” Rahul had said.Even as Shah insisted that the strikes should not be politicised, he made it clear that BJP will go to people over the issue to “boost the army’s morale” and that the military assault underlined the Modi government’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism as well as its strong political will to take tough decisions.Congress’ senior leader Kapil Sibal, who was fielded to defend Gandhi, said the party vice president had lauded the Prime Minister when he said “Modi finally acted like a true PM”.”We defend the strikes, but stop this propaganda. It is wrong to claim credit for the sacrifice made by the jawans,” he said and attacked Amit Shah for criticising Gandhi.”Those who were in jail, got externed, had murder cases against them are telling us that we are at fault,” Sibal said.Kejriwal, whose remarks on the surgical strikes were interpreted as questioning their veracity, was also critical of Gandhi.”Our soldiers valiantly carried out surgical strikes and demolished terror addresses. I have previously done so and want to congratulate the army once again for this. I strongly criticise Rahul Gandhi’s remarks wherein he said army’s sacrifices and bravery was ‘khoon ki dalali’,” he said. “I condemn the use of such words. I have told in the House as well as in a video message that right now there is tension at the border. The entire country should stand behind the army keeping aside political differences and support the Prime Minister’s steps pertaining to security. There should not be any politics over this issue,” Kejriwal said.However, Shah was unsparing in his criticism of even Kejriwal at his press conference, saying he was the first to cast doubts over the authenticity of surgical strikes and was trending on Twitter in Pakistan.”#PakStandsWithKejriwal was a top trend in Pakistan. It itself shows who are benefiting from his efforts,” he said.Raking up a number of alleged scams under the UPA government, he said wryly that ‘dalali’ word is on Gandhi’s mind as his party’s government did ‘dalali’ in Bofors, Embraer, 2G and coal block allocation deals but the strikes were not an occasion for using such a term.Rejecting the charge that BJP was using these strikes for political benefits, he said none of the top party leaders made any statement and it was the DGMO and not the Defence Minister who addressed a press conference to announce the army’s cross- border attacks.Asked if his party will make it an issue in the state elections, Shah treaded cautiously saying, “We do not want to politicise it but we will definitely take it to the people because boosting the army’s morale is the duty of every responsible political party.”These surgical strikes announce the Modi government’s zero tolerance policy against terrorism… The achievement is of the army. The strong political will is of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”Dismissing claims of Congress leaders that such surgical strikes have happened earlier too, Shah said “for the first time since independence soldiers crossed the LoC to destroy launch pads of terrorists”.Former army officers have said it never happened earlier, he added.Targeting Gandhi, Shah said Congress and he in particular disliked Modi and recalled expressions like ‘maut ke saudagar’ (merchant of death) and ‘zahar ki kheti’ (sowing crop of poison) used by his mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi against Modi.BJP won two-third majority in Gujarat after ‘maut ke saudagar’ remarks and got a majority after ‘zahar ki kheti’ comments, he said, wondering what will be the fallout of ‘khoon ki dalali’ barb. Meanwhile, the NCP, former Congress ally, too criticised Gandhi for his ‘dalali’ remarks and called the surgical strikes “historic”. “Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the principal opposition party, which is the perhaps the oldest organisation in the world. He should have refrained from using such words,” NCP MP D P Tripathi told reporters. He also hit out at Congress’ Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam for questioning the genuineness of the strikes, saying his comments were “anti-national” in nature. Asserting that the surgical strikes on terror camps were “historic” and a result of astute planning by the government and the army, the party said it was, however, against “chest thumping” and “drum beating” over the issue. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also attacked Gandhi and the Congress party on the issue. “Rahul Gandhi’s comments yesterday were not only regrettable but shameful. The justification today by the Congress crossed all limits of shameful conduct in the public life of the country,” Prasad said, assailing Sibal for his comments against Shah that criminal cases were pending against him. “Not even charges were framed against our party chief. The court said the entire case is a frame-up because of political conspiracy,” he said. “Devotion (in Congress) to Rahul Gandhi is more in order of priority than devotion to the country and defending Rahul is more important than defending the country,” Prasad said.

Surgical strikes and ceasefire violations: What India and Pakistan taught us this week

First things, first.

It’s slightly late in the day, but from one type of Special Forces to another:

vUrVnmQ - Imgur

And since we’re on the topic of things we learned, one of the most striking is how closely footballer and hat-tipper extraordinaire Mesut Özil resembles yesteryear actor/director/producer/writer Buster Keaton.

via GIPHY

See the resemblance?

Uncanny, right?

Good. Now that that’s out of the way — because that’s neither here not there — let’s reflect on the week gone by. This week — as indeed the tail-end of the last one — has been all about the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army’s Special Forces across the LoC in the early hours of 29 September.

According to some, such a strike had never been conducted before. According to others, this sort of thing has been happening for years now. Here, at FP Special Forces, we simply don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong — if such a binary can, in fact, be used in this context.

What we do know, however, is that within a week the role of the media changed drastically. A former high-ranking officer of the FP Special Forces had once said that the role of the news media would only ever be to inform, interpret and elaborate, but not to educate. How wrong he was. This week, all of that changed and the media cleared the cobwebs from our understanding and truly educated us. Let’s go through some of these teachings imparted through the tireless efforts of numerous news anchors, graphic designers and talking heads:

Surgical Strikes

With a show of hands, how many of you even knew what ‘surgical strikes’ were, before DGMO Lieutenant-General Ranbir Singh, flanked by the strong and silent Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup (for moral support, we imagine), used the phrase at that fairly famous press conference? Or did you think it was what happened when a bunch of surgeons, protesting low-pay, poor work conditions or violence perpetrated by the relatives of patients, decided to down tools, pick up placards and go on strike? Be honest!

On the off-chance that you did know what they were, your definition was probably closer to the traditional one — the one that refers to a swift and focussed attack on a specific target that causes minimal collateral damage. Right?

To quote Donald Trump, “WRONG!”

As we learned this week, a surgical strike can be anything you want it to be. For example, one interpretation refers to an incredibly daring Rambo-esque operation — in which political leaders transform into eminent personalities from Indian mythology — that leaves the victors setting off fireworks and the losers crying in shame. Or something like that. Another interpretation alludes to standing at one’s post and firing away across the border in the hopes of hitting someone, preferably an enemy combatant.

A third interpretation is the one that sees the ‘striker’ do something that appears as though it never happened. And what’s so surgical about that? Well, we’re glad you asked. Think of the way a good surgeon conducts a surgery. She makes the incision, does what is required and she’s out leaving the patient unscarred. Almost like there’s no evidence of said surgery having ever taken place. “Look ma! No scars,” like the Pakistan Army told foreign journalists when they were taken on a tour of the LoC.

Why?

strike

That’s why!

Let’s move on.

Ceasefire violations

Nearly every TV news channel explodes with angry red, blue or white (any resemblance to the US flag or the Dutch, Australian, British, Russian, French ones or any of the seemingly hundreds of others that use this colour combination is purely coincidental) tickers.

What ceasefire? According to some reports, there’ve been 20 ceasefire violations in the past week. And we’re not even going to try to calculate the total number of such violations this year. Is there even a reason to continue considering there to be a ceasefire in place if it’s going to be violated all the time? Apparently there is. And that’s what we learned.

All things covert

We also learned a new definition for the word ‘covert’. Put away your flights of fancy about ‘plausible deniability’ and ‘clandestine’ stuff. No, covert in today’s world — as we’ve been taught this week — apparently means something to brag about and something for which video evidence can be demanded. We’re sure the Indian Army’s Special Forces did a collective facepalm just as we, at FP Special Forces did, when we received this learning.

Manohar Parrikar

Nothing to add, suffice for this:

b4JWH0e - Imgur

How Pakistan’s propaganda to deny India’s surgical strike came apart

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Uri attack on September 18 which led to 19 soldiers being martyred, veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta tweeted: “If Pakistan thinks #UriAttack will have usual Indian non-response, it’s delusional. This India has moved on from old strategic restraint.” And we witnessed the titanic shift in India’s Pakistan policy when in a joint presser on September 29,Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Ranbir Singh revealed that India had carried out a surgical strike across the LoC in PoK to take out terror launch pads across the border. According to his statement, the surgical strikes had caused ‘significant casualties to terrorists and those providing support to them.’The DGMO’s statement was hailed in various quarters in India while the official Pakistani line was that the strikes never took place. Pakistan’s Foreign Officer Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was quoted by Dawn as saying: “India’s falsified, concocted, and irresponsible statements can only escalate the already fragile security situation in the region.”A Pakistan military statement said: “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists’ bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects. This quest by the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded.”Instead, the Pakistan army claimed that the two soldiers had been killed in ‘cross-border’ fire. Meanwhile, PM Nawaz Sharif, while not accepting or denying the veracity of the reports about the strike, added: “Our intent for a peaceful neighbourhood should not be mistaken as our weakness.” Meanwhile, media reports in Pakistan claimed that ‘8 Indian Army personnel’ had been killed but the Indian Army described the reports as ‘baseless’. However, the Indian Army did admit that one BSF jawan had crossed the LoC by mistake, an incident which they said wasn’t ‘unusual on either side. The Indian government is still negotiating his return through the ‘proper channels.’Army sources also slammed graphic videos doing the rounds on Pakistan media which they claimed were fake and morphed and examples of ‘black propaganda’.International supportPM Modi with Vladimir Putin (File Photo) The surgical strikes also received backing from major world powers. The Russian Ambassador to India said: “We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself.” Another Foreign Ministry statement urged the “Government of Pakistan should take effective steps in order to stop the activities of terrorist groups in the territory of the country.” Germany said: “There is a clear international norm that every state has the right to defend its territory from international terrorism.” The US, while not directly commenting on the strikes, called on Pakistan to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.Meanwhile, to counter claims of the surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army flew in local and international journalists to the Line of Control to show ‘normalcy of life in Pakistan.’Following this, articles appeared in various international publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post looking to debunk the surgical strike. An article on Washington Post had one eye-witness claiming: “All the villagers were up, and we didn’t see any troops from the other side or helicopters. India says it killed militants here, but the people who live here know each other for generations. If there were some militants somewhere around, they couldn’t have gone undetected. This is all propaganda of India.”Another one in NYT read: “…Mr. Rustam, 22, pointed in that direction and said the Indian troops never left their posts. “They are lying,” he said. “They never crossed the L.O.C.” A group of villagers standing nearby nodded in agreement.”Meanwhile, a report in the Indian Express published on October 5, claimed to have eyewitness accounts admitting that the strike took place and the fact that the bodies of those killed were loaded onto trucks for secret burials. Later the same evening, CNN-News 18 carried a report which claimed that disclosures by Ghulam Akbar, SP of Mirpur range in PoK, admitting that surgical strikes took place in the early hours of September 29. Thinking that he was speaking to hissuperior IG Mushtaq, Ghulam Akbar, SP (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK, revealed details about the strike. The report further claimed that bodies of terrorists were also removed by the Pakistan military. The SP also said the Pakistan Army had taken away the dead bodies in ambulances, adding that they may have been buried in villages. Akbar also claimed that five Pakistan Army men had died, which contradicts Pakistan’s claim that two soldiers had died in the cross-firing. The report also had Akbar admitting, among other things, that the Pakistan army ‘facilitated’ jihadi movement in advanced positions. Referring to the report Defence Minister Parrikar said, “There is now no more reason to release video or to give any proof.” ​Even though Pakistan issued a statement saying that the report is ‘false’, it’s becoming harder and harder for Islamabad to pretend that the surgical strike didn’t take place.

dna Morning Must Reads: Rahul Gandhi slams PM Modi over Surgical Strikes; #INDvNZ preview; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Surgical Strikes | Modi playing politics with blood of soldiers, Rahul Gandhi hits out at PMCongress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday created a stir by accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “playing politics over the blood of Indian soldiers”. Read more here2. Friction between Pak government, army out in the open; country’s foreign office denies reportPakistan is finally admitting that it is being globally isolated, and, according to reports in the press there, there is a growing friction between the country’s civilian government and the army. Read more here3. Hurricane Matthew closes in on Florida, Obama declares state of emergency; at least 283 killed in HaitiMatthew, the first major hurricane threatening a direct hit on the United States in more than 10 years, closed in on Florida on Thursday after killing at least 283 people in Haiti on its destructive march north. Read more here4. India v/s New Zealand: It is ‘Test’ing times in IndoreAs city hosts its first Test ever, the excitement is palpable with more than 2,000 people turning out to watch Indians practise. Read more here5. 21 Questions with Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami KherWe sit with the two newcomers for a round of 21 Questions and the two actors hit it out of the ballpark with their camaraderie. More than a competition (like it usually is with rapid fires!), these two were helping each other complete their answers. Read more here

#PakStandsWithKejriwal: When Arvind Kejriwal was the top trend in Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The philosopher Mick Jagger once said, ‘You can’t get what you want, but you get what you need’. One doesn’t know what Arvind Kejriwal wanted when he slyly asked PM Modi to counter Pakistani propaganda by showing proof of the surgical strike, but his remark didn’t go down well with the natives of India. And it seems his remarks made him extremely popular on the other side as Pakistanis took to Twitter to declare their ‘love’ for the Delhi CM.For the record, while Pakistanis have been denying that the attack ever took place, a Mirpur SP in PoK admitted that an attack had taken place on September 29. Here are some of the best Tweets:Earlier the BJP attacked Kejriwal after media reports showed proof of the surgical strike. “Does his silence mean that he trusts Pakistani media over Indian media? Does his silence mean that he does not believe that the surgical strikes happened? Does his silence mean that he still does not trust the Indian Army? We are fine with him for not believing the government. We are also fine with him for not believing our party. But what could be the reason that he still refuses to believe the Indian Army after conclusive evidence by Indian media?” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma asked in a statement.Taking a jibe at the AAP leader, he said they are “in awe of” Kejriwal as he is often the first person to comment on any issue under the sun and they also “admire” his movie reviews on Twitter which has become a “regular feature”. Sharma said it was unfortunate that he fell victim to Pakistani media propaganda and began questioning the army. “He also alleged that India is getting isolated globally but perhaps he lives in a different world.””But we are surprised as well as shocked at his silence at two different media reports that have surfaced today giving details about the surgical strikes. “Now that there is ample evidence in the media, we wish Kejriwal also starts blunting the Pakistani propaganda. He has more than 9 million followers on Twitter, and there cannot be a better reason for him to tweet. After all, blunting Pakistani propaganda is all he wanted, isn’t it?” he wondered.Does Kejriwal’s silence, the BJP leader questioned, means that he trusts Pakistani media over Indian media? Does his silence means that he does not believe that the surgical strikes happened, Sharma asked. Kejriwal in a video message had asked the Modi government to counter Pakistan propaganda refuting claims of surgical strikes and had cited international media reports in this regard. BJP said he was seeking proof of the strikes and attacked him for question the army’s assertion.With inputs from agencies

Surgical strikes during UPA time were cross-border ops: Former DGMO refutes P Chidambaram’s claims

Refuting Congress’ claims of surgical strikes in 2013 during UPA rule, the former DGMO of the Indian Army, from 2012 to 2014, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, has clarified that the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army on 29 September, post Uri attacks were different from the one Congress claims were conducted.

In an interview with NDTV, on Wednesday, the former DGMO rubbished Congress’ claims of ‘surgical strikes’ during the UPA government’s tenure. He said the surgical strikes now and operations then “can’t be compared”.

“Earlier strikes, they were not even strikes, they were cross-border operations done at the local level,” he said.

“In fact, these (surgical strikes) have given us the returns that we wanted and it had different ramifications — that is why there is so much political hullabaloo around it. I don’t think we should question the Army, I don’t think it is right. The DGMO of the Indian Army and the Army chief should not be questioned on it,” he said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Soon after the Indian Army announced the surgical strikes conducted at the terror launch pads near the line of Control, the Opposition sought proof of the strike. Congress leaders like P Chidambaram and former Defense Minister AK Antony said that similar strikes were conducted in 2013 (during UPA rule), and the government then didn’t announce it in the interest of national security.

In an interview with Mail Today, Chidambaram said that the UPA government chose not to go public with the surgical strikes “in keeping with its policy of strategic restraint”.

Speaking to The Economic Times, AK Antony said, “On many occasions during the UPA regime, when there were provocative attacks from the rival side, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes and other retaliatory attacks across LoC.”

“We are proud that even in the past our forces have successfully conducted such surgical strikes on numerous occasions, particularly on 1 September, 2011, 28 July, 2013 and 14 January, 2014, giving a befitting reply to the enemy,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Sujrewala also claimed that the not just Congress government but previous governments too had conducted surgical strikes.

However, clearing the air on these claims, Lt Gen Bhatia said, “I am a soldier and I belong to the Indian Army, which is totally apolitical — dedicated, committed and professional. Now, let us put the surgical strikes in the correct contextual framework. These surgical strikes are in a different domain, they are a defining moment, where all elements of national power, that is the diplomatic, informational, military, economic, political, cultural — have synergised, and for the first time, India has given a befitting response to terrorist operations in the counter-terror domain.”

He explained that the previous surgical strikes — the ones Congress mentioned — were not even strikes, they were cross-border operations done at the local level “without much planning and without much thought”.

He explained the importance of the surgical strikes and explained why they are important in the current climate. “These are surgical strikes, properly planned, well deliberated operations and they have been orchestrated extremely well, and I am a very proud soldier today, I am a very proud Indian today that we have given a response and shown our strategic restraint,” he said.

Watch the video of the interview here.

With inputs from agencies

By asking for proofs, we are indirectly exposing our army’s strategy to Pak: Ujjwal Nikam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a section of leaders demanding proof of the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army of Pakistani terror launch pads, noted public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has asked don’ they understand that by asking for such proofs, they are indirectly exposing our army’s strategy to the enemy country and who will be going to be benefited by exposing such strategies, of course, Pakistan.”I feel very sorry that certain people in our country are still demanding the evidence about our surgical strike. Don’t they understand that by asking for such proofs, they are indirectly exposing our army’s strategy to the enemy country, and who will be going to be benefitted by exposing such strategies? Of course, the enemy country, Pakistan will be largely benefited,” Nikam told ANI.Suggesting such leaders to ‘let Pakistan deny, we don’t bother about it,’ Nikam, who was involved in prosecuting 1993 Bombay bombings case and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, said he was reminded of an incident that had occurred in the terror attacks of 26 November, 2008 in Mumbai.Recounting the incident, the special public prosecutor said, “In fact, the special judge had asked me to marshal the evidence as to how the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos have conquered and overpowered the terrorists. I urged before the court that we cannot lead such evidences, because it is not in the public interest. The court said if you are not leading the evidence, the court will examine its court witness; and the court accordingly issued summons to NSG guards.”Asserting that they challenged the special court’s order in the high court, Nikam said, “The high court ruled that such disclosures would vitally affect the public interest; national interest; and that would also involve the risk to NSG’s strategy, because certain strategies of the army and the NSG cannot be disclosed, otherwise the enemy country will be benefited. And therefore, the High Court said ‘no, the order of the special court erroneous and wrong’. And, it was set aside with certain modification.””That is why it is the most unfortunate thing that some people are demanding evidence of our surgical strikes against terrorists. I feel very sorry for them,” Nikam rued.A political slugfest over surgical strikes broke out Tuesday with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam calling it ‘fake’ and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking the government to release the proof of the surgical strikes to counter the Pakistani propaganda against the operation.”Every Indian wants #urgicalStrikesAgainstPak but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by #BJP. Politics over national interest,” tweeted Nirupam.”BJP make a mockery out of it by chest thumping and putting up posters in UP,Goa crediting PM Modi instead of the Army,” Nirupam said in another tweet.Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal tweeted: “BJP, I m convinced that strikes took place. But intl media publishing Pak propaganda that no strike took place. Lets expose Pak propaganda.”Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in the Gujarat assembly and senior Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela also asked the Centre ‘to provide proof of the Army’s action to clear the doubts arising in the mind of the people about the claims of the government’.

Subramanian Swamy hits out at Delhi CM Kejriwal, calls him ‘anti-national’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dismissing Arvind Kejriwal’s demand for proof over the surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday asserted that India could never go to war with Pakistan with an anti-national character like the Delhi Chief Minister still in power.Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that India does not need to respond to Pakistan’s claims, as even if they are provided with evidence, Islamabad would take no action.”We should not respond because Pakistan will never change. We gave them proof on Kasab and Hafiz Saeed. We also allowed them (Pakistan) to come to India for the Pathankot probe and still they did not do anything. So there is no point,” he said.Coming down heavily on the Delhi Chief Minister, Swamy added, “We all know Kejriwal’s anti-national and Naxalite mind. Instead of worrying about securing Delhi, he is running around trying to churn issues.”Talking about the possibility of war with the hostile neighbour, Swamy emphasised that the Centre must take a call if it can take such a step while Kejriwal was still in power as Chief Minister.”We should dismiss his government and have President Rule,” he added.Making a point that the surgical strike by the Indian Armed Forces has been globally lauded, Swamy stated that certain sections of the international media have also welcomed and accepted the covert operation.”Russia has welcomed our surgical strike and U.S. has said that we have done an excellent job on it. On 3rd October, even the Washington Post has given a lead article and China says that India and Pakistan must talk with each other,” Swamy said.The BJP leader further called on Pakistan to clear all its doubts with Russia, with whom they just had a joint military exercise.Meanwhile, criticising the opposition’s demand for proof of the surgical strikes across the LoC last month, the BJP has asserted that questioning the integrity of the armed forces will convey a signal that India is divided.BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “On the very first day, immediately after the surgical strikes, the Congress party and other political parties immediately complimented, congratulated the government, the armed forces for their bravery, valour displayed during the successful surgical strikes. Now, you can’t ask for proof.”Earlier, the opposition had demanded that the government ‘call Pakistan’s bluff’ and give evidence of the September 29 predawn strikes after several news reports in the international media cast doubt on the same. The government has accused the opposition of attempting to lower the morale of the armed forces.An nation-wide uproar was raised when Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre, calling on it to provide proof for the operation as due to lack of its evidence, Pakistan was internationally shaming India. In response, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu said there was no need to respond to the irresponsible comments of Congress leaders.”There is no need to respond such irresponsible comments and demands. Fortunately even the Congress party has realised its mistake and they have distanced themselves from the comments made by some of its leaders. The AAP also made it very clear. That being the case I don?t think any Indian citizen doubts the credentials of the commitment of our Indian Army,” Naidu said.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader P.Chidambaram also drew flak from Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for demanding proof of the surgical strike.

Air Chief Marshal says situation live post strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calling the situaiton “live” following the surgical strikes by India on terror lauchpads across the Line of Control (LoC), Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said the armed forces are prepared to take on any challenge.Refusing to take questions on the surgical strikes by the Army last week, during his customary annual press conference ahead of the Air Force Day on October 8, Raha said the force has the power to punish its enemy, but a decision on using it in an offensive role will have to be taken by the government.”I think I should not say anything because it is very sensitive and things are still live,” the Air Chief Marshal said.Downplaying Pakistan Air Force’s “high mark” exercise amid growing tension between the two nations, he said the timing was coincidental.Raha, who is also the Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee (COSC), said, “The Air Force, Army and Navy are always ready.”When asked would it not be a let down if he did not comment on the surgical strikes, Raha candidly said he was in “half a mind” to call off the media interaction because he knew everybody is charged up and that he would be asked questions on the issue.Raha is the first chief among the three services to face the media after the surgical strikes. He said the issue of surgical strikes was a sensitive one and the force was focussed on improving its capability, but it was not directed at any specific country.”We are not going to develop our capability vis-a-vis a particular adversary or country. We just build our capability to have a strategic reach and to deter our adversary. And if we have to use that capability in a conflict or contingency, we will,” he said.Raha said that earlier the procurement was “process driven and not outcome driven”, but things were changing now. While earlier procurement was a long-drawn process, the government is now trying to think out-of-the-box to shorten the time period.An example is the Rafale deal which was in the works for nine years before a decision was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to opt for a government-to-government contract with France.

Will take months to cause serious damage to terror infrastructure in Pakistan: Indian Army

Post the surgical strikes carried out by India on seven terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) inflicting “significant casualties” across the LoC, the Army said that it needs six months to cause serious damage to the  terror infrastructure in Pakistan, reported Economic Times.

The strikes, which were carried out on the 28 and 29 September, has been  seen as a reprisal for the Uri attack by the Pakistan-based terror outfit  Jaish-e-Mohammed which killed 19 soldiers.

A file image of the site where Uri attack took place. PTI

A file image of the site where Uri attack took place. PTI

The report quoted a top army official as saying that a medium-term plan  or a sustained campaign is needed in order to entirely damage the capabilities of the terrorists.

An article in Firstpost had stated that India needs to re-evaluate its military options to keep up with the Pakistani strategy. The article says: It  will take more than a cross-LoC surgical strike to make Pakistan withdraw  its support to anti-India terrorist groups and cross-border terrorism. 

Surgical strikes and cross-LoC raid look feasible options if the Pakistani  Army and the ISI keep up with its strategy of executing terrorist attacks in  Indian states bordering Pakistan — like Uri and the previous attacks in  Udhampur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, and the rest. But if the ISI manages to  repeat what it had done in Mumbai in 2008 or revives its campaign of causing serial blasts in major Indian cities, then this sort of response to the surgical strikes may look harder to execute, particularly if the attack has its roots exclusively in Pakistani Punjab, and not PoK.

Then the Indian government and the Indian Army will have to think of new ways to militarily respond to Pakistan.

The newspaper report quoted another top army officer as saying, “This is  the time to make an actual difference that will deter cross-border terror  support.”

Kanhaiya Kumar explains why surgical strikes shouldn’t be publicised

Mon, 3 Oct 2016-10:12pm , Bhubaneswar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Monday said surgical strikes should not be publicised as political parties might use it as an election issue.”Surgical strikes should not be made public. This has an adverse impact on the society. People may misuse and make it an election issue in the coming state polls,” Kumar, who in February was arrested and charged with sedition for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in JNU campus, told reporters here. Earlier addressing an ‘Azadi Samavesh’ here to mark the completion of 80 years of All India Student Federation (AISF), he thanked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for distancing themselves from the BJP.Criticising the Centre for inflation, unemployment and illiteracy, the former JNu students union president said he had no will to join politics and preferred to be a teacher in future.Police took about 24 ABVP activists into custody while they were picketing and showing black flags to Kanhaiya Kumar.

‘Modi must expose Pak lies’: After Kejriwal, Cong asks for proof of surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress asked the government to put forth “credible” evidence of last week’s surgical strikes, carried out by the army across the Line of Control, to “expose” Pakistan which has denied any such action. Congress’ senior spokesman Anand Sharma also sought to dismiss the claim that the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads was the first such retaliation by the Indian Army, insisting that it had responded earlier too “as per the need or provocation”. Asked about Aam Aadmi Party’s demand that the Centre put out a video of the surgical strikes, Sharma said Congress does “not have slightest doubt” about what the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) said after the operation.At the same time, he said, Pakistan is attempting to mislead its people by claiming that no such attack had taken place. In this backdrop, it would be necessary for the Prime Minister to “expose” Pakistan by putting forth credible evidence about the surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29. The announcement about the action was made by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh at a press conference in New Delhi.”The government must expose Pakistan’s denial. It has all the tools and instruments to do so,” he said, adding the Modi dispensation has backing of the entire political leadership.He said that the Indian Army had carried out such strikes in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. The only difference this time was that the government of the day has taken the “political ownership”, he said.Sharma, a senior minister in the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government, said, “In the wisdom of the UPA, the political ownership of such actions of the army was not considered necessary.”Insisting that the Armed Forces have always responded as per “the need or provocation” when it came to defending the motherland, he said, “The thinking that this is the first time Indian Army has retaliated against a terror attack is not correct. It is a disservice to our forces.” Noting that neither the Prime Minister nor anyone else has said that “our armed forces were dormant and sleeping in the past”, he said the details of the earlier actions are there with the defence establishment. “In the past, these decisions were taken by the Army,” he said.Sharma said Pakistan has been “exposed but not isolated” in the wake of the surgical strikes and referred to the joint operation carried out by Russian Special Force near Gilgit within 48 hours of the Uri terror attack.Earlier, Kejriwal asked Modi govt to show proof. “Last week our army showed valour and avenged the deaths of 19 soldiers killed in the Uri attack. I may have differences with the Prime Minister over a 100 issues. But when he has shown the will (to deal with this matter), I salute him,” he said.This is perhaps the first time that Kejriwal, who has been critical about the Modi government and its Pakistan policy, has come out praising him. On the day of the strikes, the Delhi Chief Minister had hailed the army, but there was no word of praise for Modi.A day later, he had told the Delhi Assembly that is time to stand with the Centre and the differences between them can be sorted out later.Claiming that Pakistan has gone “berserk” after the strike, Kejriwal said, it is resorting to smear campaign against India at international fora and this has to be countered.”It has resorted to playing dirty politics. Since the last two days, Pakistan is taking international journalists to the border and trying to show that surgical strikes never took place.”Two days back, the United Nations gave a statement that there was no such activity on the border,” he said.”My blood boiled over these news reports (of the international media). Pakistan is indulging in smearing India’s image at the international level.The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has not directly observed” any firing along the LoC, UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had said on September 30 against the backdrop of the surgical strikes conducted by India.”I appeal to the Prime Minister that the way he and the Army taught Pakistan a lesson on ground, he should also unmask the propaganda by Pakistan at international level. The whole country is with you. I also appeal to the countrymen not to believe in the false campaign by Pakistan,” he said.

‘Giving demo of their missile tech’: Twitter mocks Pakistanis for throwing stones at Wagah border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Things got a bit out of hand during the Beating Retreat Ceremony at Wagah border. when Pakistani crowd threw rocks at the Indian side. Quoting sources, ANI said that the BSF has asked for a flag meeting with their Pakistani counterparts over this issue, however, Pakistan Rangers have not responded yet.This incident comes days after India said it conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to the terrorist attack at Uri sector. Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack.Earlier, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today described Pakistan as an “anaesthetised patient after a surgery” and said “if you give us pain, this country’s forces are capable of giving the same pain to you”.In his first comments since the action, Parrikar asserted that India loves peace and does not believe in unprovoked aggression but it won’t take terror lying down.He said the strike against the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was meant to give a message to Pakistan that Indian troops know how to retaliate.”Pakistan’s condition after the surgical strikes is like that of an anaesthetised patient after a surgery who doesn’t know that the surgery has already been performed on him. Even two days after the surgical strikes, Pakistan has no idea what has happened,” Parrikar said at Peethsain in Uttarakhand s Pauri district.”Agar aap hame peeda dena chahte hain, toh iss desh ki sena, iss desh ke log, aapko bhi peeda dene mein samarath hain (if you give us pain, then this country’s forces, this country’s people are capable of giving you the same pain),” he said to loud cheers from the crowd.The Defence Minister hailed the special para forces who delivered “five slaps on the cheeks of the enemy” who carried out the Uri attack.”Hum dusron ke upar rajya nahi karte, par apman nahi sahenge aur iske aage toh katai nahi (We do not indulge in aggression but we will not tolerate insult and now onwards, never),” he added.Terming the surgical strike as an anti-terror operation which had caught Pakistan unawares, Parrikar equated the Indian Army to ‘Hanuman’ and made a reference to the Ramayana in which the monkey God crossed an ocean in a single stride after he was reminded about his extraordinary powers by Jamwant.”Indian troops were like Hanuman who did not quite know their prowess before the surgical strikes,” Parrikar said.Congratulating the troops for the precision and efficacy of the strikes, the Minister said he greeted all its members for their extraordinary feat.”The surgical strikes gave our forces an idea of what they were capable of doing. Pakistan is bewildered following the strikes, not quite knowing how to react,” Parrikar said in his first public reaction after the strikes.”Indian troops caught Pakistan unawares as our commandos did what they had to without Pakistani authorities getting a wind of it,” he said at the event to unveil the statue of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali, a noted freedom fighter from the hill state.India carried out surgical strike on seven terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.

It will take some days to get jawan Chandu Babulal Chavan back from Pak custody: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said it will take “some days” to bring back Army jawan Chandu Babulal Chavan, who is in Pakistan’s custody after inadvertently crossing over, but a well established mechanism through the DGMO has been activated to secure his release. “He had crossed over which happens in border areas. There is a well established mechanism through DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) which has been activated,” he told reporters. “Since the situation is tense right now, it will take some days to bring the soldier back,” the Minister, who was here to inaugurate a cleanliness drive in a cantonment area, said.The Defence Minister said there is no relation between the surgical strike carried out by the Army in PoK and the soldier crossing the border inadvertently. On September 30, Chavan from 37 RR had inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control following which Pakistan had been informed by the DGMO on the hotline. “Such inadvertent crossing by Army and civilians are not unusual on either side. They are returned through existing mechanisms,” the army had said.On Friday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had called up the family of the solider and assured them that efforts are being made to secure his release. Chavan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan. Parrikar also said that people should remain alert and report anything unusual to the police. Parrikar to be felicitated in Goa Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would address a public gathering on October 4 in Goa where he would be felicitated. “Parrikar is expected to address more than 10,000 people at the historic Azad Maidan in Panaji on October 4, where he would be congratulated and felicitated for the achievements over the surgical strike,” BJP Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar told PTI.Tendulkar claimed this would be the first public speech by the Defence Minister post the surgical strike. “We are proud of his achievements and hence we want to express our sentiments to him,” he said.On Tuesday afternoon, Parrikar will arrive at the Dabolim airport from where he would be taken in a procession to Azad Maidan. To a question, Tendulkar said the surgical strike will be one of the issues that would be highlighted during the Goa Assembly elections due next year.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that sacrifices in Uri attack would not go in vain and he has kept the word.Only BJP and its government have the capability to take such stern action which is historic. We will be highlighting this achievement during the forthcoming poll campaign in Goa,” Tendulkar said.India had recently carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army saying that its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Defence sources said seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control(LoC) were destroyed by special forces of the Indian Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heliborne and ground forces were deployed.

Start transferring money to people’s account: Digvijay reminds Modi govt of poll promise regarding black money

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Digivjay Singh on Sunday latched on to the government’s announcement that it has collected over Rs 65,000 crore in the biggest-ever declaration of black money to remind it of fulfilling BJP’s poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in bank account of each citizen.”Congratulations to FM. He should start transferring this to People’s A/C in Jan Dhan Yojna as promised by Modi & BJP or was it only a Jumla?”, the senior party leader said in a tweet.His remarks came a day after government said that Rs 65250 crore has been declared as unaccounted income and assets under the four-month-long Income Declaration scheme 2016 which ended on Friday last.The Congress General Secretary also sought to remind the ruling dispensation that the surgical strikes carried out in PoK were less in significance than the breakup of Pakistan carried out by Indira Gandhi in 1971.”All credit to our brave soldiers for the effective Surgical Strike in POK recently. But does it overshadow or is more decisive than the one when we broke up Pakistan into two under Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1971?” he wondered.

Army Chief meets troops who did surgical strike across LOC, conveys appreciation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief Dalbir Singh on Saturday visited the Northern and Western Commands to review India’s operational preparedness along the border with Pakistan in the wake of heightened tension between the two countries following the surgical strike at terror camps across the LoC.The Army Chief was briefed by top commanders in both the crucial commands about the prevailing situation and their overall preparedness and contingency plans. At the Udhampur headquarters of the Northern Command, which planned and executed the surgical strike, General Singh interacted with the special forces personnel who successfully carried out the operation. He was briefed by Lt Gen DS Hooda, GOC-in-C Northern Command on the overall security situation in the Command theatre.”The Army Chief interacted with the Corps Commanders and took a first hand assessment of the prevailing security situation and operational preparedness,” a top army official in the Northern Command said. He said General Singh also interacted with the troops who participated in the surgical strike operation and conveyed his appreciation for the successful operation. Singh personally complimented officers and men who “successfully” targeted seven terror launch pads located in Leepa, Tattapani, Kel and Bhimbar.”The Army Chief was briefed on the operational matters by GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt Gen Surinder Singh,” a defence spokesman said in Chandigarh. “The Army Chief interacted with senior formation commanders and exhorted them to continue to maintain the highest vigil and alertness on the western borders,” he said. Sources had said the decision on the surgical strike was taken soon after the attack on the Uri army base on September 18. They said India was ready with contingency plans considering the possibilities that Pakistan may retaliate in the wake of the surgical strike.It has been estimated that the number of casualties was at least 40 on Pakistani side but there was no official confirmation. The Army has also trashed reports in Pakistan about Indian casualties during the operation, saying one member of the special forces received minor injury while returning but it was not due to any enemy or terrorist action.

Army chief Dalbir Singh visits Northern Command after surgical strikes across LoC

Udhampur: Army Chief Dalbir Singh on Saturday visited the Northern Command base here to take stock of India’s operational preparedness along the border in the wake of heightened tension in Indo-Pak ties following the surgical strike targeting terror camps across LoC.

“Gen Singh arrived at Northern Command headquarters this morning and chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation and operational preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir, including along the Line of Control,” a Defence official said.

Indian Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag. AFPIndian Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag. AFP

Indian Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag. AFP

The surgical strike, seen as a reprisal for Uri terror attack, was planned and executed by the Northern Command.

Singh also personally complimented officers and men who “successfully” targeted seven terror launch pads located in Leepa, Tattapani, Kel and Bhimbar, the official said.

He is scheduled to visit army’s Western Command to review operational preparedness.

Sources had said the decision on the surgical strike was taken soon after the attack on the Uri army base on 18 September. They said India was ready with contingency plans considering the possibilities that Pakistan may retaliate in the wake of the surgical strike.

It has been estimated that number of casualties was at least 40 on Pakistani side but there was no official confirmation.

The Army has also trashed reports in Pakistan about Indian casualties during the operation, saying one member of the special forces received minor injury while returning but it was not due to any enemy or terrorist action.

Adding ‘spine’ to Pakistan policy: How political cartoons depicted Indian Army’s surgical strikes

Thursday was a very important day for India. It was when the central government made public the details of the surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army against the terror launch pads across the Line of Control. With the Modi government facing a lot of pressure from both, Opposition parties and the people to give an appropriate response to the Uri terror attack, this strike also had huge political implications.

After a long time, major political parties came together and were on the same page with the Narendra Modi government. The nation witnessed an united political fraternity in India which supported the central government and the Army for a successful strike.

Sometimes, the best way to understand an event or an issue is through political cartoons, which often say more than a thousand words, especially on an event as important as this.

Here are some of the most wittiest political cartoons on India’s surgical strikes:

This brilliant cartoon by Sandeep Adhwaryu, chief cartoonist of The Times of India, summarises what most of the people in India feel has happened with the surgical strikes. After the ‘surgical operation’, the central government and the Indian Army have finally managed put to some ‘spine’ back into India’s foreign policy on Pakistan.

This cartoon by Satish Acharya is significant because it perfectly exposes Pakistan’s contradictory stand on the surgical strikes. While Pakistan denies that the surgical strike ever took place, it still says that it will take revenge for the attack. Pakistan has always maintained that India just engaged in “cross-border firing” and called it a surgical strike.

This rather flamboyant cartoon by Neelabh Banerjee clearly suggests that the intention of Pakistan to harm India with the Uri terror attack came back to haunt Pakistan itself. India has alleged that Pakistani-sponsored terrorism was responsible for the Uri terror attack.

The Hindu published a simple yet powerful cartoon in its newspaper (link provided in the tweet) which shows the PM walking into the ‘surgical theatre’ looking like a passivist with what looks like a paunch and then walking out with the paunch gone and ’56-inch chest’ back.

Cartoonist Manjul perfectly captures the massive rise in the popularity of the central government which the surgical strikes must have caused because now, every ‘common man’ wants to have a 56-inch chest. Also, brownie points for atply depicting the DGMO’s press conference on Thursday which made public the information about the surgical strikes.

Surgical strikes: Our dailies offered prudence, balanced caution and chest-thumping

After the surgical strikes against Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC), there is one similar theme running across the editorials published in newspapers on Friday — that of silent jubilation, if not effusive.

Across leading national dailies, the tone was not only congratulatory, but also one of looking ahead: What will be the Centre’s plan after its military success, what is Delhi’s objective — escalation or restraint, what are the standard operating procedures after such routine strikes, how long will India’s border towns and villages be on high alert? These are just some of the questions voiced by India’s dailies. There were some cautious answers too on offer.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Hindu, as it always does, took a sombre approach to the entire affair with its editorial simply titled Crossing the Line of Control. The piece looks at how India’s next steps after Uri are stuck at “uncharted terrain”, especially with Delhi shedding its favoured policy of restraint and taking on a new coat of aggressive approach (as seen by the surgical strikes). But in its sobriety, The Hindu‘s editorial also offers prudence: It heeds the Centre to spell out — and soon — what it will define as “new normal” the relations between India and Pakistan and how it aims to approach the situation, and Pakistan in particular, to avoid it being escalated. In addition, The Hindu editorial also comes to the conclusion that the operation took place as a result of pressure on the Narendra Modi-led BJP government to shoot back a meaty powerful response to the 18 September Uri attack.

This is in rather stark contrast to The Times of India‘s editorial, if you only go by its headline, Avenging Uri: Modi has sent a message of resolve, but India must be on high alert. A lot has been said and written about the contrasting viewpoints of both the newspapers — colloquially known as Old Lady of Bori Bunder vs Mount Road Mahavishnu — perhaps it holds good for this case as well. But besides the headline, the editorial does keep a straight head on its shoulders keenly observing that “there is little scope for triumphalism or even unwarranted optimism at this stage”. It advises India’s political parties to come together for the nation’s cause and find a joint solution to the constant threats of terror. The Times of India editorial also cites the example of what happened post Kargil as a warning of what might come after Wednesday’s strike: Pakistan responded by hijacking an Indian Airlines flight and getting in exchange Masood Azhar, who went on to form the Jaish-e-Mohammad. It postulates that (this time around) Pakistan could “activate terror cells inside India” and perhaps also move terror launchpads away from LoC. India should be prepared, it details, with standard operating procedures and equipment ready just in case Pakistan decides to strike back. Interestingly, the editorial also signals a warning to Pakistan — that it would be better off “to head off the path of confrontation”, and it would find a willing Delhi ready to talk on any issue.

The Indian Express‘ editorial — Defining Moment — focuses on how the Centre must look to control the script “it so dramatically redrew”. It writes about India’s multi-tiered strategy to isolate Pakistan from the rest of the world, through calling for a review of Indus Waters Treaty, calling off its participation in Saarc and finally a military strike; the last option that has taken Pakistan by surprise. On a final note, The Indian Express‘ editorial implores Delhi to keep its head in the game and to be clear in its objective to “raise the costs for Pakistan” and be careful that the situation is not escalated keeping in mind the temporary triumph it tasted during the surgical strikes.

Writing for Mint, its executive editor Anil Padmanabhan is all praise for the Narendra Modi government’s actions. Titled Narendra Modi walks the talk with surgical strikes against Pakistan, he writes that the government has sent a strong and clear message to Pakistan that “it can no longer be business as usual”. Padmanabhan is of the opinion that these surgical strikes are a measured response befitting the status of an “advanced, modern nation” and that the nation can no longer be taken for a sitting duck. He further argues that by responding in such a way, the NDA government has shown that “nothing is off the table”, be it a military strike or a diplomatic one, as seen by the pulling out of the Saarc summit. This strike has seen India come a long way from its days of so-called soft responses to terror: Padmanabhan, who opines that Pakistan and China used to interpret India’s passive resistance as the “lack of a stomach for a fight”, drives home the point of a surgical strike in the penultimate paragraph: That a surgical strike is easier to undertake, costs less and is not as risky as a full-blown war.

Op-ed_collage_listicleOp-ed_collage_listicle

It’s no surprise that, on reading Hindustan Times‘ editorial Surgical strikes: A fitting reply to Pakistan, the newspaper fully backs the government’s surgical strikes. In fact, it only stops short of chest-thumping. Sample this.

The death of 18 Indian soldiers in the Uri attack meant there had to be a cost imposed on the terrorist groups, not only on their patrons. This has now been achieved through the surgical strikes. Given where the launch-pads were located, close to the line of control, it is a safe assumption that the terrorists amassed there were highly trained and motivated, the best of their breed. Taking them out of the equation alters the security calculus, at least until their masters have found adequate replacements.

The Hindustan Times‘ editorial also attempts to put into perspective this operation: that India did indeed display “strategic patience” by not retaliating immediately after the Uri attack, instead waiting for two weeks and using those two weeks to strategise diplomatically to gain international sympathy. The editorial also examines Pakistan’s response, which it terms “predictable” and “smart”, because it gives them the advantage of pompous self-assertion without the undertaking of actual military operations. And that India should expect Pakistan to proclaim vengeance and appeal to the international community to interfere and also expect hackneyed statements on the two countries to exercise restraint. It does end the same way it started: how India’s leaders should guard the country against future threats while reveling in the “satisfaction from the revenge, served cold and in good measure, for Uri”.

However, this much can be said: that the opinions and analyses offered by the newspapers far trump the jingoistic messages and salvos fired by television channels, who played both judge and jury, on the same. It’s at this time that we must — as Indians and journalists — look at where we draw the line when we report matters of national and international importance; to be over cautious would only mean exercising restraint and to be sober in our celebrations would only mean being clear-headed when we might easily be tempted to go overboard.

Prudence, caution and chest-thumping: What our dailies offered after LoC surgical strikes

After the surgical strikes against Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC), there is one similar theme running across the editorials published in newspapers on Friday — that of silent jubilation, if not effusive.

Across leading national dailies, the tone was not only congratulatory, but also one of looking ahead: What will be the Centre’s plan after its military success, what is Delhi’s objective — escalation or restraint, what are the standard operating procedures after such routine strikes, how long will India’s border towns and villages be on high alert? These are just some of the questions voiced by India’s dailies. There were some cautious answers too on offer.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Hindu, as it always does, took a sombre approach to the entire affair with its editorial simply titled Crossing the Line of Control. The piece looks at how India’s next steps after Uri are stuck at “uncharted terrain”, especially with Delhi shedding its favoured policy of restraint and taking on a new coat of aggressive approach (as seen by the surgical strikes). But in its sobriety, The Hindu‘s editorial also offers prudence: It heeds the Centre to spell out — and soon — what it will define as “new normal” the relations between India and Pakistan and how it aims to approach the situation, and Pakistan in particular, to avoid it being escalated. In addition, The Hindu editorial also comes to the conclusion that the operation took place as a result of pressure on the Narendra Modi-led BJP government to shoot back a meaty powerful response to the 18 September Uri attack.

This is in rather stark contrast to The Times of India‘s editorial, if you only go by its headline, Avenging Uri: Modi has sent a message of resolve, but India must be on high alert. A lot has been said and written about the contrasting viewpoints of both the newspapers — colloquially known as Old Lady of Bori Bunder vs Mount Road Mahavishnu — perhaps it holds good for this case as well. But besides the headline, the editorial does keep a straight head on its shoulders keenly observing that “there is little scope for triumphalism or even unwarranted optimism at this stage”. It advises India’s political parties to come together for the nation’s cause and find a joint solution to the constant threats of terror. The Times of India editorial also cites the example of what happened post Kargil as a warning of what might come after Wednesday’s strike: Pakistan responded by hijacking an Indian Airlines flight and getting in exchange Masood Azhar, who went on to form the Jaish-e-Mohammad. It postulates that (this time around) Pakistan could “activate terror cells inside India” and perhaps also move terror launchpads away from LoC. India should be prepared, it details, with standard operating procedures and equipment ready just in case Pakistan decides to strike back. Interestingly, the editorial also signals a warning to Pakistan — that it would be better off “to head off the path of confrontation”, and it would find a willing Delhi ready to talk on any issue.

The Indian Express‘ editorial — Defining Moment — focuses on how the Centre must look to control the script “it so dramatically redrew”. It writes about India’s multi-tiered strategy to isolate Pakistan from the rest of the world, through calling for a review of Indus Waters Treaty, calling off its participation in Saarc and finally a military strike; the last option that has taken Pakistan by surprise. On a final note, The Indian Express‘ editorial implores Delhi to keep its head in the game and to be clear in its objective to “raise the costs for Pakistan” and be careful that the situation is not escalated keeping in mind the temporary triumph it tasted during the surgical strikes.

Writing for Mint, its executive editor Anil Padmanabhan is all praise for the Narendra Modi government’s actions. Titled Narendra Modi walks the talk with surgical strikes against Pakistan, he writes that the government has sent a strong and clear message to Pakistan that “it can no longer be business as usual”. Padmanabhan is of the opinion that these surgical strikes are a measured response befitting the status of an “advanced, modern nation” and that the nation can no longer be taken for a sitting duck. He further argues that by responding in such a way, the NDA government has shown that “nothing is off the table”, be it a military strike or a diplomatic one, as seen by the pulling out of the Saarc summit. This strike has seen India come a long way from its days of so-called soft responses to terror: Padmanabhan, who opines that Pakistan and China used to interpret India’s passive resistance as the “lack of a stomach for a fight”, drives home the point of a surgical strike in the penultimate paragraph: That a surgical strike is easier to undertake, costs less and is not as risky as a full-blown war.

It’s no surprise that, on reading Hindustan Times‘ editorial Surgical strikes: A fitting reply to Pakistan, the newspaper fully backs the government’s surgical strikes. In fact, it only stops short of chest-thumping. Sample this.

The death of 18 Indian soldiers in the Uri attack meant there had to be a cost imposed on the terrorist groups, not only on their patrons. This has now been achieved through the surgical strikes. Given where the launch-pads were located, close to the line of control, it is a safe assumption that the terrorists amassed there were highly trained and motivated, the best of their breed. Taking them out of the equation alters the security calculus, at least until their masters have found adequate replacements.

The Hindustan Times‘ editorial also attempts to put into perspective this operation: that India did indeed display “strategic patience” by not retaliating immediately after the Uri attack, instead waiting for two weeks and using those two weeks to strategise diplomatically to gain international sympathy. The editorial also examines Pakistan’s response, which it terms “predictable” and “smart”, because it gives them the advantage of pompous self-assertion without the undertaking of actual military operations. And that India should expect Pakistan to proclaim vengeance and appeal to the international community to interfere and also expect hackneyed statements on the two countries to exercise restraint. It does end the same way it started: how India’s leaders should guard the country against future threats while reveling in the “satisfaction from the revenge, served cold and in good measure, for Uri”.

However, this much can be said: that the opinions and analyses offered by the newspapers far trump the jingoistic messages and salvos fired by television channels, who played both judge and jury, on the same. It’s at this time that we must — as Indians and journalists — look at where we draw the line when we report matters of national and international importance; to be over cautious would only mean exercising restraint and to be sober in our celebrations would only mean being clear-headed when we might easily be tempted to go overboard.

After surgical strike, sense of relief at BJP headquarters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a sense of relief at the BJP headquarters following news of the surgical strikes, which came just as the party rank and file was getting restive after the Uri attack. Party leaders lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the armed forces.BJP president Amit Shah, who had issued a hard-hitting statement at Kozhikode a day after Modi’s combative speech at Kozhikode promising the sacrifice of the 18 soldiers will not go in vain, said a befitting reply had been given to terrorists.”After a long battle against terrorism, for the first time, damage was inflicted on the breeding centres of terrorism and a befitting reply given to terrorists. Today, all countrymen feels proud of the army,” Shah said in a statement issued on Thursday.Congratulating the PM, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Indian Army, Shah said the army has shown exemplary valour and courage by carrying out surgical strikes on the launching pads and trainning camps of terrorists in PoK.Shah had earlier issued a series of tweets on similar lines.That the strikes had left a feeling of contentment in the party was apparent from the statements of the leaders.BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said the Prime Minister has “walked the talk. . Punishing the perpetrators of terror from across has begun.”He said some Pakistanis were trying to downplay it claiming it was just a cross LoC firing.The party, which faces elections in the crucial Uttar Pradesh early next year, was concerned about the political fallout if the government had not responded in line with the BJP’s line of zero tolerance towards terror.”A salute to the armed forces and to the leadership of the Prime Minister for securing our borders and defending from Pakistan sponsored terrorism. A responsible government acts and talks less. And that has been the practice of this government under Modi’s leadership,” party national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said.Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted “Surgical strikes were conducted when Pakistan did not mend ways after repeated diplomatic efforts to check terrorism originating from their soil.”

Surgical strike: Mehbooba Mufti expresses note of caution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Putting aside their differences, political parties today came together to hail the anti-terror surgical strikes carried out by Army across the LoC, with BJP saying it signals the “rise of new India” and Congress terming it as a “strong message” to Pakistan to stop aiding terrorism.However, BJP ally and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti struck a note of caution as she voiced concern over escalation of situation along the borders and warned that confrontation could lead to a “disaster of epic proportions” for the state. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi said a “strong message” has been sent with the surgical strikes by Army and insisted that Pakistan bears a “great responsibility” in the continuing cross-border attacks in India.Offering her party’s support to the government in the battle against terror, she said in a statement that “this is a strong message that conveys our country’s resolve to prevent further infiltration and attacks on our security forces and our people”. Her son and party’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that all stand firmly united against terrorism and those who support and sponsor it.Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah said every Indian today feels safe in the fight against terrorism under his leadership. “Today’s strikes signal the rise of a new India where the Government doesn’t get cowed down by nefarious designs of terrorists,” Shah said. BJP ally Shiv Sena, which has often taunted the central government over its alleged lack of action against Pakistan- based terrorists, congratulated the Prime Minister and said armed forces have the capacity “to unfurl the tricolour in Lahore and Karachi”.Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “We congratulate the armed forces and government over this action. We should not step back and go ahead as India and armed forces have the capacity to unfurl the tricolour in Lahore and Karachi. We congratulate the Prime Minister.” NCP President and former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar also lauded the army while JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the whole country is one in support of the defence forces and the government.”Bravo Brave hearts! Feel proud of Jawans for Surgical Strike on terrorist camps in PoK,” Pawar tweeted.

In bad taste? This burger joint is celebrating India’s surgical strike by offering a discount

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As news of the surgical strike by the Indian Army came in on Thursday, one eatery drew some criticism for trying to cash in. Gurgaon-based burger joint Burger Singh sent out a bizarre message announcing a 20% discount on all online orders in celebration of the action. The Indian Army on Wednesday night conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on terror launch pads, killing 38 terrorists. This is being seen as a strong response against the recent Uri attack that killed 18 soldiers. This prompted Burger Singh to announce: “In light of the surgical strike by India defence forces on terrorist camps (POK), we offer 20% off on all orders on www.burgersinghonline.com. Coupon code:fpak20.”This marketing strategy garnered a lot of attention and people took to social media to express their view.Later, the food joint further increased its discount rate to 30%, but chose to alter its coupon code saying:We’d love to respond and have two points to make -1. The surgical strikes were not on Pakistan but on Terror Launchpads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), along the LoC2. Why is it insensitive to celebrate action against terror?We would further like to establish that we support the government’s decisive and prompt action to preserve the honour of our armed forces and the dignity of our country. We are AGAINST terrorism and love our nation. It was never our intention to hurt, harm or otherwise prejudice anyone or their beliefs.As a response to all the love and and some hate coming our way across social platforms, we announce an increase in discount to 30% with a politically correct Coupon Code – strike30.

High alert in Gujarat after surgical strikes across LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> High alert has been sounded in Gujarat in the wake of the surgical strikes carried out by the Army on terror bases across the LoC, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.The state shares land and sea boundary with Pakistan. “Following surgical strikes, high alert has been sounded in entire Gujarat, specially the border districts police and coastal police stations have been alerted to increase vigil after our armed forces’ successful operation,” he said. Three districts of the state– Kutch, Banaskantha and Patan– share boundary with the neighbouring country.People in major cities in Gujarat welcomed the surgical strikes by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.”Our officers are in constant touch with the officials of BSF and Coast Guard. The BSF and Coast Guard are extremely vigilant on the land border and sea coast respectively. Police in border districts have already stepped up patrolling,” Patel said. The coastal police have also been kept on high alert and have been asked to vigilantly monitor the movement in the sea, Patel said. “The Centre has given us a directive to evacuate people from villages within 10 kms area of the border with Pakistan.But none of our villages are located in 10-km range from the border (due to Rann of Kutch). Our villages are almost 25 km away from the border,’ Patel said. The state Home Department has also asked the entire state police to be on alert so that no anti-India elements can take benefit of the situation, he said. “We also request the people of the state to alert police or government regarding any suspicious activity and help the state maintain law and order,” Patel said.He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi “for fulfilling the promise of retaliation after the Uri terror attack”. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said surgical strikes are befitting response to terror.”Surgical strikes are befitting response to proxy instigated by our neighbour. My heartiest congratulations to Indian Army and NaMo government,” Rupani tweeted.

Proud of our armed forces for their heroic surgical strikes: BJP hails Indian army, PM Modi’s leadership

Proud of our armed forces for their heroic surgical strikes: BJP hails armed forces, PM Modi’s leadership

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New Delhi: On Thursday BJP hailed the armed forces following the surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC and lauded the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his government believes in action and not words.

“A salute to armed forces and to the leadership of the Prime Minister for securing our borders and defending from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. A responsible government acts and talks less. And that has been the practise of this government under Modi’s leadership,” party national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted, “Proud of our armed forces for their heroic surgical strikes on terror launch pads.

“Surgical strikes were conducted when Pakistan did not mend ways after repeated diplomatic efforts to check terrorism originating from their soil.”

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “walked the talk”.

“PM Modi Ji has walked the talk. Punishing the perpetrators of terror from across has begun,” Madav wrote on
twitter.

He took a dig at Pakistan for downplaying the surgical strikes conducted by Army across the LoC.

“Some Pak guys r trying 2 downplay claiming it was just a cross LoC firing”, Madav Said.

“They y from Pak President to PM to Def Min vowin to protect Pak (sic)?”, he said.

He complimented the Indian army for the operation. “Army has done a great job. However Army has restrained to area specific,” Madav said.

Karnataka roars No.1 in the country with 406 tigers!

Karnataka minister for cooperation and sugar HS Mahadeva Prasad released this study and has said they will look into the proposal of whether to declare these regions as a new tiger reserve.

dna Web Team

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India reacts to North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test, calls it a matter of deep concern

Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, several diplomats said the meeting was scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. ET (1600 GMT). The diplomats said the meeting would likely be held behind closed doors.

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