"The surgical strikes were a message we wanted to communicate. I think they have understood. If the adversary does not behave, and it is required, we can conduct such operations again. We can repeat them, if not in the same form and shape": Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat
Going Back to 2015
On June 4, 2015, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) ambushed a convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment in Chandel district of Manipur, killing 18 jawans.
On June 10 India conducted surgical strikes against terrorist camps along the Indo-Myanmar international border, eliminating more than 150 militants.
India conducted Surgical Strikes in an area of 25 km across Line of Control (LoC) which came as a shock for Pakistan and celebration for Indians. This strike was not anti-Pakistan but was clearly focused on terrorists.
On the day of this planned strike, Chief of Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh was continuously monitoring the Operation, right from the night of Wednesday when Special Forces Para Commandos from the 4th and 9th Battalions of the Northern Command started the onslaught that started just after midnight and concluded around 4.30 Thursday morning. This attack came merely 10 days after the Uri attack in which 18 soldiers were martyred.
Seven terrorist launch pads spread over a significant area were targeted. Each terrorist launch pad had 30 to 40 terrorists, guides and support aides. The launch pads had been under surveillance for about a week.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a crucial meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that was attended by the top brass including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
And then came the news that sent varied messages of varied essence to varied parties in the country, and across the border: “Indian Armed Forces conducted surgical strikes on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday night.”
This was announced by the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh in an official press conference on Thursday morning.
To simplify the entire operation undertaken, we have it broken down in 10 points. Here you go:
1. The strikes began past midnight and were carried out in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors on the Pakistan side of the LoC.
2. Indian soldiers went at least three kilometres inside the Pakistan side of Line of Control. "Our forces have gone deep in and come back before sunrise," said government sources.
3. The strikes are India's first direct military response to the attack in Uri. It included para-commandos and helicopters.
4. The arc of the operation was spread over 250 km in a landscape that included hills, forests, and mountains.
5. Indian Armed Forces confirmed that full surprise was achieved and there were no Indian casualties.
6. Troops had clear orders ‘not to leave bodies or buddies behind’.
7. The mission was actively monitored by senior officers in the Army's Operations Room at the Ministry of Defence in South Block.
8. Chief of Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh was continuously present in the Operations Room, right from Wednesday night when Special Forces Para Commandos from the 4th and 9th Battalions of the Northern Command started the onslaught that started just after midnight and concluded around 4.30 Thursday morning.
9. Seven terrorist launch pads spread over a significant area were targeted. Each terrorist launch pad had 30 to 40 terrorists, guides and support aides. The launch pads had been under surveillance for about a week.
10. According to the Army, the terrorists were planning major attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and in major Indian cities.
“We should hit Pakistan, continue to prepare for surgical strikes, continue to punish Pakistani posts in the proximity of the LoC and we should start adopting counter terrorist measures.”
“That should be India's action without escalating it to a full-fledged war,” said Lieutenant General D B Shekatkar (retd) in October 2016.
Army chief's stern message to Pakistan: 'Infiltrators will be buried two-and-a-half feet under the ground'
As the country is celebrating the first anniversary of successful execution of the surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), Army chief General Bipin Rawat, in a direct caveat to Pakistan, said that it should stop cross-border terrorism and if it fails to do so then India possesses an array of penalizing measures to ruin its evil designs.
“The Indian Army, with a strong counter-infiltration grid along the 778-km Line of Control and robust counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland, is also ready to keep on ‘welcoming’ infiltrating terrorists and ‘burying them two-and-a-half feet under the ground," said General Rawat.
General Rawat said the successful surgical strikes by Indian Special Forces on September 29 last year were intended to send a loud and clear message to Pakistan.
"The surgical strikes were a message we wanted to communicate. I think they have understood. If the adversary does not behave, and it is required, we can conduct such operations again. We can repeat them, if not in the same form and shape," reiterated Gen Rawat.
“India, as a strong country is capable of taking such decisions if and when required in keeping with its national security objectives,” he added.