Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Sep 2018 10:43:28

EVEN as the nation celebrates what the Government has described as ‘Surgical Strike Day’ on September 29, several issues crop up in public domain. May the political community debate if such a celebration is needed or not, but more critical than all that acrimony is the attitude the nation and its Government and the Armed Forces should display in the face of repeated misadventures by Pakistan’s regular or unofficial forces -- the terrorists -- by attacking Indian territory and people in a planned manner. In fact, everybody in the country wishes that there is a need to strike back in real time whenever there is a Pakistani misadventure of any kind. If India starts demonstrating such a no-nonsense response, then the stance will serve as a deterrent to stem Pak’s overtures to a large extent.

As for the surgical strikes two years ago, it must be said that the Ops were a tremendous success from any angle. And they were India’s response to Pakistan’s misadventure a few days earlier. Even as the Indian troops showed what they could achieve, many in India -- those who know what military action means and those who don’t -- wondered why the Indian Forces could not strike back in real time, that is at a moment’s notice whenever Pakistani troops or hired terrorists indulged in any overtures. Though the demand of an immediate strike back has remained feeble in voice, it has been there all along, thus expressing one hurt popular sentiment.

If the Government directs the Forces to adopt such an attitude -- of real time striking back in all ferocity -- a lot of good can be achieved by way of restraining Pakistan to reasonable extent, and also giving the common Indians a sense of pride that nobody can take India for granted. For, whenever any Pakistan strike has taken place, the common people in India regularly cite the Israeli example. This popular response demonstrates clearly what the common man in the street wants.

Of course, it must be admitted that on many occasions, India has hit back strongly. On many occasions, Indian leaders also have kept talking about teaching Pakistan a lesson it would not forget. Yet, for the common people, what actually matters most is the real time striking back whenever Pakistan indulges in some or the other misadventure. The most ardent wish of every Indian is this -- hit back the strongest whenever Pakistani troops or terrorists needle India in whatever manner.

True, this may be interpreted by some as being trigger-happy. But another and more sensible interpretation is that it will mean being battle-ready all along. This may need a higher level of alertness all the time, but such a state is called for in the given condition. Even though most believe commonly that the Armed Forces cannot be kept in battle-ready state all the time, we insist that such a readiness in a limited manner can be achieved successfully, as has been demonstrated by Israel and many other Armies around the world since ages.

Much depends, of course, on the Government’s mindset. Much depends upon how the overall political community reacts to various situations of small or big aggression by the enemy. Much of India’s problem stems from the unwillingness of the Government to strike back. The overall experience is that our Government is too much afflicted by undesirable patience, which, in the long run emboldens Pakistan all the more. Hence the common people’s wish that India should start hitting back in real time, and not waiting to prepare better and then striking back hard.

Again, to some this may appear to be being trigger-happy, but such a readiness is absolutely essential to teach Pakistanis the right lessons repeatedly and also to give the Indians a sense of continued pride about the capabilities of our Armed Forces. This also suggests obviously that such responses will not culminate into a war of a large scale. Much to the contrary, it will only restrain Pakistan in its madness to needle India every now and then. In nutshell, time demands that the Government develops and demonstrates a no-nonsense attitude towards Pakistan.