After the dastardly attack on one of the valley bound CRPF vehicle, the whole country was resonating about the revenge. Prime minister Narendra Modi has also resonated the same on his various public appearances. Recently while speaking on a public rally in Tonk he said :
“ Please keep faith on the soldier standing on border, Modi government and the blessings of Ma Bhavani, This time no one will be spared “PM Narendra Modi during public rally at Tonk, Rajasthan.
With emotions running high and elections looming near, government had no other option but to avenge the death of soldiers. But this was easier said than done because rules of engagement had drastically changed after 2016 surgical strike.
Why it was not easy this time
- Pakistan which already suffered a blow after 2016 surgical strike was attentive and more prepared this time. All the entry route to POK ( Pakistan occupied Kashmir) were now well marked and fortified.
- It is winter season and most of LOC is still snow laden.
- To avenge the biggest ever terror strike in valley we had to target high value target and not just launch pad close to LOC.
- China now has considerable amount of investment in POK. During the course of action any damage to same could have sparked the conflict with northern adversary.
- Pak air force and army was on high alert as they were already anticipating a kinetic response from our forces.
In order to keep the promise of avenge, Indian air force has struck some targets in POK and deep within Pakistan. Though official confirmation from the Indian government is still awaited but based on various media reports it is confirmed that Indian air force has crossed the LOC and have struck some targets in Pakistan. More precise details along with details of damage done are still awaited.
What we know so far about strike
- After 1971, this was the first time Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the Line of Control (LOC) and have struck some targets across LOC and deep within Pakistan.
- A fleet of 10 to 12 Mirage 2000 aircrafts swung into action around 3:30 AM today (26th January).
- Fighter aircrafts have dropped around 1000 Kg of ammunition.
- As confirmed by various media reports and Pakistan military sources on twitter, IAF struck as deep as Balakot in Pakistan which is situated beyond Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
What other diplomatic and economic measures has been taken till now
In the first cabinet meeting post attack, government made it absolutely clear that India is going to go all out this time and will not be just restricting itself to military option. As a result, various arms of government has already swung into action to isolate our western neighbour in economical and financial domain.
- MFN ( Most Favoured Nation) status given to Pakistan has been withdrawn. It is to be noted here that India has unilaterally given this status to Pay since 1996 in the anticipation of reciprocation which never happened.
- Excise duty on all the imports from Pakistan has been increased to 200 percent. As a result many of India bound trucks from Pakistan stands stranded on the border as this has tripled the cost of all imported item ( 10 lakh stuff with 200 % duty now cost 30 lakhs )
- India approached FATF ( Financial action task force) with evidence of Pakistan sponsor terrorism and as a result FATF has decided to continue keep Pakistan in grey watchlist but refused to put it into black list.
- India has decided to stop water flowing into Pakistan from Ravi, Satluj and Beas river. Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan allow India to use complete share of water from easterly tributaries of Indus.
Today’s strike resonate the professionalism and the valour of our forces. The very fact that our fighter aircrafts went deep into Pakistani air space undetected, speaks a lot about the audacity and the valour of our forces. This becomes quite interesting when seen in the context of 1999 Kargil war, where, even after being intruded by Pakistan regulars and non state actors, government clearly asked air force not to cross the LOC. Today’s strike has written off that self imposed rule.
This strike will go a long way to assert the very core of our newly founded offensive defence strategy. The change in stance to establish a new rule of counterstrike for every attack on Indian soul is a welcome move and need to be followed in spirit in future as well. But, considering the history of Pakistan we need to keep our guards fully up to remain attentive and prepared to any counterstrike adventure from our western neighbour.