Surgical strike not unusual, publicising it is; feel former Army officers

Action was against terrorists, not Pakistan Feel hurt by demand for proof

BHOPAL: On September 28 night, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on “terror launch pads”, in response to the Uri attack that killed 18 soldiers. The strike was welcomed by politicians, actors, authors – almost everyone. Some foreign nations too welcomed the operation.

But then came the controversy over proof of the strike. And it was recently revealed that the army had undertaken a similar strike in 2011.

Free Press Journal spoke to some retired army officers to elicit their views on the strikes and their aftermath.

Brig KK Thacker

The strike was necessary. It was against terrorists, not Pakistan. But I think, the demand for proof of the strike is not appropriate. I’m an army person and at the time of an operation we only focus on the mission.  Surgical strike is a very different kind of operation. It is a secret operation which has to be completed in a limited time. Can anybody expect that instead of weapons, we should wield cameras? The people who are demanding proof of the strike should have trust in their Army.

Col DC Goyal

There is nothing new in it. Moreover, we were quite late in taking action. It should have done earlier. It was very essential because every year, terrorist outfits lure away youth from Kashmir and indoctrinate them. So this is the best solution. But raising question on Indian Army by the political parties is not good. Actually the problem is that they can’t and don’t understand and respect the feelings of armed forces. And by doing this they are giving wrong message to the world.

Col PK Vaidya

The action must be taken after foolproof planning. Now they will think ten times before attacking India. It’s good lesson for terrorists. But it didn’t happen for first time. Isse pehle bhi surgical strikes ho chukka hai….So it’s not new. This was a right decision. Pakistan should realise that India too can hit back. India had been taking the issue lightly. But after the series of attacks at the border, India realised it had to do something,

Col Abir Choudhary

In my 35-year career in the Corps of Army Air Defence, I have witnessed more infiltrations and attacks than I care to remember. Most of my postings were spent in counterinsurgency ops and intel roles in the Northeast or close to the LoC around notorious infiltration staging areas. Our response was a surgical strike in retaliation to the bloodshed. You must understand that strikes from both sides of the border are an “existential phenomenon”. Every army man knows that they are not a “call for war” as it is interpreted by civilians and the media. While less frequent than cross-border firing, surgical strikes have always been carried out with the intention to neutralise the threat without collateral damage – and they go hand in hand with secrecy. I doubt there exists, beyond official records, any trace of a surgical strike in the Myanmar area in August 1988. I know this because I was a part of it.

Captain Alexander Joseph

We welcome it but this is not the first time such an operation has been undertaken. But it was officially publicised and disclosed for the first time at the international level through the media. We are not only country conducting such operations. America also launched drone attacks to destroy terrorist camps. The strike was meant to send out the message that “Humein Pakistan se koi dushmani nahi hai, hum terrorist ko jadh se khatm karna chahte hai….

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