hit back hard

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Feb 2018 09:09:03

THE deep ache reflected on the face of Defence Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman as she saluted before the coffin of the Army brave-heart Captain Kapil Kundu, and the cold and steely look in the eyes of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat standing next to the Defence Minister, should become the signature of India’s response to continued Pakistani overtures attacking Indian forward positions, killing soldiers, and hurting the country’s pride. The ache on the face of the Defence Minister and the steely coldness in the eyes of the Army Chief should now become the starting point of a determined action to ensure that Pakistan learns a lesson it would never want to forget.

This is not war-mongering, of course. This is only an assertion of the national sentiment, which is so necessary at this stage. For, in the past some time, Pakistan has continued to violate ceasefire agreement almost on a daily basis to inflict wounds on India. So many Indian soldiers have been killed in the Pakistani attacks where there is no need for any country to attack its neighbours. Some time ago, National Security Advisor Mr. Ajit Doval had met his Pakistani counterpart at an eastern destination and the two had reportedly agreed to avoid ceasefire violations and incursions. As usual, all Pakistani promises are meant to be made and then broken. This time also, the martyrdom of Captain Kapil Kundu and his four soldiers has come about when there was absolutely no need for Pakistan to attack Indian forward positions. This particular attack was absolutely without any provocation from India and was aimed only to create new issues of conflict between the two countries.

This is war-mongering on part of Pakistan. This is itching for trouble. This is forcing a situation in which an international conflict that would eventually give Pakistan an opportunity to shop for arms and for money from its friends.
And that is exactly the reason why India should retaliate as immediately as possible, declaring to the world why it had done so. Of course, in the past three years, India has done that on quite a few occasions. It also conducted what are generally and popularly described as surgical strikes deep inside the Pakistani territory.

All that was done in the hope that Pakistan would learn some lessons in sanity. That has not happened, however. This sad reality, therefore, has to be recognised by India so that it hits back hard and with a sense of urgency. In the past three years when India hit back, it did serve a great purpose. But each of those strikes were done after some planning and contemplation with an eye on success. This is perfectly all right.

Yet, what is actually needed is an immediate, real-time hitting back, in the sense the Indian forces should enter the Pakistani territory within minutes of Pakistani overtures. That would mean a greater preparedness on part of the Indian forces. But when the situation is so fluid and the enemy is itching for trouble, then it should be our national aim at this point to hit back the hardest and very urgently -- without a loss of even an hour after the Pakistani overtures.

That will be the real message. That will be the point which Pakistan will not be able to manage. True, such an approach might create very volatile conditions along the international border. True, such an approach may push the two countries closer to a war of whatever proportions. Yet, in larger national interest and to assert country’s pride, Indian Army should be allowed to be ready to hit at literally a moment’s notice. A hit-back after a pause has served no purpose so far. Hence this suggestion to hit back on an immediate basis without loss of even minutes.