Homeland Security

Airstrikes wipe out decades of cowardice and humiliation
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 12 Mar , 2019


Fast paced events have overtaken the country, quite unprecedented in its post independence historical sweep, such as the devastating air strike on Balakot, the nerve-centre of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s diabolical terror network, in the small hours of February 26.  In one fell swoop, the sledge hammer blows not only pulverized the infrastructure symbolizing extreme hatred and intolerance, but also exterminated the most depraved mass murderers, strutting about as sanctimonious Jihadis. The nation, at long last, wiped off decades of abject humiliation that it had undergone at the hands of the Rogue State and its proxies.

The bold and befitting message delivered by an assertive Indian leadership, after decades of wallowing in self pity and cowardice, has stunned Islamabad, shattering its nuclear bluff in the most dramatic manner.

The bold and befitting message delivered by an assertive Indian leadership, after decades of wallowing in self pity and cowardice, has stunned Islamabad, shattering its nuclear bluff in the most dramatic manner. It also speaks volumes about the superior skills and dexterity of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots.  Relying on stealth and diversionary tactics, they easily outwitted the entire panoply of Pakistan’s security set-up, placed at the highest levels of alert. They accomplished their mission in a spectacular way, returning home without any loss of life or aircraft.

And what is more, Wing Commander Abhinandan destroyed the much vaunted and ‘more lethal’ F-16 the very next day, with R-73 missile fired from his much older yet upgraded MiG-21 Bison. Eight Fighting Falcons (F-16), four Mirage IIIs and an equal number of Chinese made JF-17s, part of the complement of 24 Pakistani jets, were sent out on a retaliatory mission to destroy military bases in J-K.  But then the eight Indian MiGs, Mirages and Sukhoi 30s, though heavily outnumbered,  swooped down from the skies like hawks, forcing the invaders to flee in panic and disarray.

Abhinandan’s feat, unprecedented in the annals of aerial warfare, rattled Uncle Sam and for once, pulled it off its high horse, bringing laurels to the IAF. Islamabad will now have to reflect a thousand times before embarking on any misadventure against India.  Else it should be prepared for severe consequences. The country has had enough of bloodletting and terror acts. The image of a dignified Abhinandan standing erect and resolute under questioning as a prisoner, helped firm up world opinion against the rogue state and compelled it to return him within 72 hours. But not before the enemy subjected him to mental torture, against all norms of civilized behaviour.

Unfortunately, the rabble rousing political class, tainted by allegations of gigantic scams and money laundering, resort to anti-national sentiments in order to pander to their vote banks.

Although ample evidence is forthcoming from the other side, including a video clip of Masood Azhar’s sibling decrying the multiple deaths of jihadis and visuals of the destroyed locations, dozens of opposition parties are still adamantly questioning the authenticity of the aerial bombardment, paralleling their take on the September 2016 surgical strike. Some of the European news agencies and US based private satellite operators, too, have jumped into the fray, pooh-poohing the IAF version, endorsing their juvenile stand by default. It could well be part of a global conspiracy, based on half truths, to discredit India and make it the butt of jokes. The role of the ISI is suspect, which employs every trick in the book to attack India, with its tentacles reaching deep into regional and global think tanks, NGOs and human rights groups.

Many doubting Thomases in politics, academia and the Lutyens media have come together to habitually slander servicemen, as if it were their birthright, relegating them to a lower category of mortals who ought to be expended as cannon fodder. An English daily’s attempt to taint the Army by alleging a coup bid, under a fictitious front page banner headline a few years ago, demonstrates the sordid depths to which they can sink. Has anyone ever dared to hold the fifth column accountable? Unfortunately, the rabble rousing political class, tainted by allegations of gigantic scams and money laundering, resort to anti-national sentiments in order to pander to their vote banks.  The government is also too inclined to fritter away the solid gains in favour of the status quo, especially after public pressure eases off.

At a time when the nation needs to send a message of resolute unity,   Islamabad could not have wished for a more dependable ally than these perfidious politicians, especially when it is facing global heat for carnage in Pulwama. They are aiding and abetting the Rogue State with their irresponsible utterances and dangerous posturing. Are they not aware of the genocide it had perpetrated on its eastern wing, second only to gassing of Jews in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, besides slaughtering thousands of Indian soldiers in terror attacks? Indeed, these numbers are much higher than the combined toll of Indian soldiers in the four wars fought with Pakistan.

…It is extremely doubtful whether entitled politicians like Chidambaram and Farooq Abdullah would have ever whispered a word against Uncle Sam’s muscular response?

Lately the rogue state seems to have added another sinister dimension to the proxy war. It is visible in hundreds of abusive comments targeting online news reports, highlighting the exemplary role of servicemen in the current scenario. These often emanate from fake email Ids and are signed off as ‘Anonymous’ or with sundry other nondescript names. What makes the whole exercise particularly distasteful is the readiness with which prominent media houses permit such drivel to be posted, including the one that boasts of being “the world’s most widely circulated daily.” Other balanced comments are either smothered or removed from the website.       

What if any US soldier lost his life in such jihadi attacks?  The US would have probably pounced on Pakistan and exacted a terrible price. It is extremely doubtful whether entitled politicians like Chidambaram and Farooq Abdullah would have ever whispered a word against Uncle Sam’s muscular response?’ Yet they insist on the necessity of talks, against all canons of logic, in a bid to confer legitimacy and equivalence on the rogue state, even if it becomes instrumental in maiming and killing innocents with impunity.

Thousands die every year in natural calamities and accidents, so goes their pernicious logic. What if some more people lose their lives to suicide bombers? If politicians could have their way, they would have probably gifted J&K to Islamabad on a platter, after toying with the idea of parting with Siachen, aborted by the Army Brass in the nick of time. How can one forget the defiant attack on Parliament, wholesale carnage in Mumbai’s 26/11,  followed by Pathankot, Uri, Baramulla, Handwara, Nagrota, Sukma and many others, all sponsored by terror tanzeems.

One of the most damaging theories doing the rounds on the social media is that suicide bomber Dar committed the dastardly deed at Pulwama, after being thrashed by Army, precipitating a chain of events that culminated in the airstrike. By the same logic, Kashmiri pundits should have also picked up the gun to avenge themselves, especially after being humiliated, ravaged and thrown out of the state. Did Bangladeshis ever form terror squads to gun down Pakistani soldiers guilty of massacring millions of their own?

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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Sudip Talukdar

is an author and strategic affairs columnist.

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8 thoughts on “Airstrikes wipe out decades of cowardice and humiliation

  1. culpability of Indian govts(contd)
    1. Why the Indian govt try to make the inhospitable terrains through which terrorists infiltrate , make them hospitable by leveling them with micro explosions, so that area becomes more hospitable for Indian army to detect intrusions
    2. There are portable living housing units are available, wind generators . Why can’t govt settle retired army people on the sensitive border areas with self equipped arms and power packs and self grown veggies etc..
    3. Why can’t Indian completely keep southern Kashmir terrorist infected 4 districts under tight surveillance similar to Chinese xinxiang region?
    4. Why can’t govt take census of kashmiri youth and use AI to predict who are vulnerable to terrorism ?

  2. culpability of Indian govts
    1. Govt is mentally prepared for pak will sponsor terrorism for decades so wait out
    2. Govt is insensitive to loss of army lives.
    3.If you can’t provide solution but at least attempt to find solution. Govt never done any efforts to find effective counter strategy.
    The govt at least should have done the following
    a)When Indian govt try to talk to pak after cooling period why India expects other countries to condemn pak?
    b)Is it not shame for Indian govt waste of diplomatic energies in every world forums and visiting dignitaries to condemn pak terrorism? is it befitting a country of 1.3 billion people and aspiring power to spend so much energies on this?
    c)Why is Indian govt giving trade benefits to pak when it is sponsoring terrorism?
    d)Who is that idiotic advisers that we should maintain diplomatic relations?
    is it not US maintaining contact with Iran through 3rd parties? Why can’t India do the same and cut off diplomatic relations with pak
    d) If there is no diplomatic relations , if terror attack occurs army hot line is there to talk. Do you need diplomatic relations for that. or you can 3rd party channels to send message to pak. What kind of message you are sending to the world by maintaining diplomatic relations?
    e)Why kartarpur corridor? Indian sentiments fulfilling what kind of senile policy we have?
    f)Does indian govt has a separate cell for public relations to expose pak duplicity to the international fora 365x24x7?
    i)POK atrocities , demographic changes through pasthuns to show kashmiris that they are becoming minority in pok.
    ii)balochi atrocities by pak army to be shown in kashmir
    iii)standard of living in pok compared to Indain kashmir
    iv) Expose indian kashmir separatist leaders family members lifstyles
    v)Show to kashmiri separatist leaders speeches and side by side show pak atrocities in pak so that indian kashmiri people understand the duplicity kashmiri separatist leaders

  3. Culpability of the Defense ministry
    1.what the defense ministry babus are doing when army lives are lost for decades?
    2. How much time you require to plan for effective counter strategy?
    3. We know israel is different and it’s neighbors are non nuclear states, but Pakistan is nuclear state. So are we so brainless to find Indian solution to counter pak strategy? So how many years you require? You don’t need decades is not it?
    4)Any defense ministry would have constituted a committee to study past infiltration strategies and ask for solutions from defense experts, drdo, israel or any other well wishers.
    5) DRDO should suggest solutions for locating cover fire sources and hit them ,
    provide imagery solutions to hit pak army bunkers with guided rockets immediately after terrorist attack, or whatever feasible solutions

  4. The kinetic action taken by IAF is laudable, but it is like too late to cheer about.
    The biggest culprits are both Indian governments, defense ministry and Indian army. I am patriotic Indian and it is unfair to blame.
    1. Indian Army :
    a)Indian army knows pak strategy of terrorist infiltration right from the 1970s. So it is happening for decades
    c)Indian army knows that they are fighting jihadi cannon fodder and loosing lives .
    Jihadi lives are worthless and can be replaced forever. But Indian armed forces lives are precious.
    d) Did not ever occur to them that loss of army lives to be avenged with pak army lives? Eliminating terrorists is waste of resources. But first avenge through pak army lives then fight terrorists.

    My question to Indian army is
    i)We are fighting insurgency for decades. Why there is no corresponding evolution of tactics?
    2)I am hearing from childhood , pak army gives cover fire , terrorists infiltrate.
    Why did not army try to eliminate pak army giving cover fire?
    Did it ever try design our own weapons or import weapons to eliminate pak army giving cover fire?
    3) Why did not army reorganize for helicopter mobile brigade to hit pak army whenever terror attack occurs ?.
    The army mobile brigades should be under separate command with satellite imagery targets mapped, helicopters with missiles and rockets equipped can be moved to any point on the border immediately after terror attack and kill Pakistani soldiers. Then start combing operation for eliminating operations. These mobile brigades will be 365x24x7 operational brigades, when first news of attack comes even before airing on the TV channels, they will go and attack predesignated targets and come back. By this time india will send message to the world that we will not tolerate terrorism by pak army and this is the riposite

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  6. Air Strike at Jaish Camp in Balakot, well inside Pakistan has unfolded the arrival of New India. What is pertinent to mention that our Armed Forces had been ready to deliver since 1999 with the hijacking of our IC and release of Masood Azahar. Only a well disciplined Armed Forces can take it with a pinch of salt, the release of the terrorists on which many lives of our soldiers were sacrificed. This includes involvement of many Congis and it’s supporters too. Public opinion was craving for such response from 26/11 . However, the Political will only emerged after Pulwama. Unfortunately War is a too serious business to be left with the Armed Forces totally. If not coordinated properly, then the success gained by our IAF would slide into controversy and thereafter will be made into misadventures, so that next Political leadership will not even dare to do that.

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