Diwali celebrations in India and across the world entail bursting of crackers and associated festivities. The Pakistan Army, however, has devised its own celebration model that involves raining of artillery shells and automatic fire along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir. It derives great pleasure in causing misery to the civilians living there by ruining their festive season.
India’s “Return Diwali Gift” has left a lasting impression on the cowardly neighbour.
This year has been no different. On Friday, 13, November, the eve of Diwali, Pakistan chose to carry out widespread, unprovoked and multiple ceasefire violations (CFVs) in areas of Gurez, Machhil, Keran, Tangdhar, Uri, Poonch and Rajauri. Indiscriminate fire of all caliber weapons, including Artillery and heavy mortars was resorted to. Villages along the LOC were specially targeted. Three soldiers of the Indian Army, one soldier of the Border Security Force (BSF) and three civilians are reported killed in this dastardly act.
India’s “Return Diwali Gift” has left a lasting impression on the cowardly neighbour. In a massive, swift and befitting response, several ammunition dumps and multiple terrorist launch pads across the LOC were destroyed by Indian forces. Mainly the Spike anti-tank guided missiles recently procured from Israel and Artillery fire was resorted to.
The Indian forces targeted erring Pakistani posts and terrorist launch pads located in areas of Neelum Valley (Nekrun, Kel, Sharda, Dudhnial, Shahkot, Jura, Nauseri sectors), Leepa Valley (Danna, Mandal and Kayani sectors), Jhelum Valley (Chham and Pandu sectors) and Bagh Valley (Pirkanthi, Sankh, Haji Pir, Bedori and Kailer sectors).
As always, the Indian Army took special care to ensure that the civilians of the areas were not affected thus giving due regard to international obligations and human rights.
Recently, under pressure from FATF, Pakistan released a list Pakistani nationals who were involved in the Mumbai terror attack.
The Pakistan Army suffered heavy casualties. Reliable reports suggest that at least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 15 to 20 injured. The breakdown of various sectors is – opposite Gurez one killed and two injured, opposite Machil one killed and four injured, opposite Keran sector five killed and eleven injured and opposite Tangdhar three killed and four injured. In addition, there is confirmed information about four terrorists killed and 12 injured, which Pakistan’s DG ISPR is depicting as civilians, as always.
There are a few reasons other than Diwali for Pakistan to resort to this misadventure. The main is the inability to carry out successful infiltration of terrorists into Kashmir despite desperate attempts to do so. On 8 November, the Indian Army eliminated a group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate in the Machil sector of Kupwara district, three Indian Army brave hearts were killed in action. This was one among many similar attempts to support infiltration through CFVs and BAT attempts that have been countered successfully over a sustained period. Desperation caused by repeated failures and enhanced killing of terrorists in Kashmir added to the tradition of “celebrating Diwali” was reason enough for Pakistan Army to go berserk with blatant disregard to regional peace.
Another big reason is the desperation of the Pakistan Army and Government to ward off the humiliation that it is facing in front of the people of the country. Recently, under pressure from FATF, Pakistan released a list Pakistani nationals who were involved in the Mumbai terror attack. Though this list comprised only the fringe elements, it is proof enough of Pakistan complicity and was widely commented upon by the Indian and international media. The best recourse to overcome the negative publicity lay in creating an “event” along the LOC.
Hitting into India along the LOC during Diwali is a regular feature for the Pakistan Army. Such intensity was last witnessed in 2016 when, a day after Diwali, eight innocent civilians, including two children, were reported killed and 22 injured in immoral cross LOC firing. At that time also the Indian response was overwhelming with 14 Pakistani posts razed to the ground but, apparently, Pakistan did not learn any lesson.
One wonders as to why Pakistani is finding it so difficult to understand that India is very serious about the policy of zero tolerance to acts of terror…
Even during a hot war scenario soldiers respect the religious sentiments of their adversaries, such is the universal tradition of the profession of arms. But then, military honour is quite alien to the Pakistan Army, especially its Generals.
One wonders as to why Pakistani is finding it so difficult to understand that India is very serious about the policy of zero tolerance to acts of terror, infiltration of foreign mercenaries in the name of Jihad and unprovoked CFV’s. Indian retaliation is a clear indicator of the high level of preparedness and vigilance of the Indian Army. All enemy border outposts and structures are bracketed for precision attacks by Artillery, missiles and even drones. ” Hundreds are ready for infiltration on the Pakistani side. If Pakistan is ready to infiltrate, we are also ready to greet them 24/7,” said an Indian Army General commanding troops in Kashmir.
In accordance with a tradition that he has set, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent Diwali with soldiers of the nation. This time he went to the forward areas of the Jaisalmer sector. In his address he was very candid in his articulation of India’s defence strategy. “Today’s India believes in the policy of understanding and making others understand but, if we are tested, the reply will be equally fierce,” he said. “Nothing in the world can stop our brave soldiers from protecting the border of the country,” he added.
A clear message from the prime minister of the country and the recent riposte to CFVs should leave no doubt about the Indian resolve to protect her interests and her national security. India is ready to eliminate those perpetrating terrorism by hitting them in their own homes. The only option left for the Pakistan Army to deal with the Indian resolve is to set aside its self-destructive strategy of CFVs and infiltration attempts, failing which it will keep nursing a bloody nose and a shattered ego apart from losing precious lives of its soldiers needlessly. Who will explain this simple truth to the blinkered Pakistani military leadership?