Parrikar says more surgical strikes, if required, after China double-crosses India
Even as China double crossed India again on the issue of proscribing Masood Azhar as a UN-designated terrorist, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar warned on Saturday that India would not hesitate to carry out more of the Thursday’s precision strike across the LoC in the future, if its interests were harmed. “Pakistan’s condition after the surgical strikes is like that of an anaesthetised patient after a surgery who doesn’t know that the surgery has already been performed on him. Even two days after the surgical strikes, Pakistan has no idea what has happened,” he said.
“If Pakistan continues with such conspiracies, we will give them a befitting reply again,” the Minister said.
The Minister’s remarks are first comments from a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) following the “surgical strikes” on terrorist launch pads along the Line of Control on Thursday. Comparing the power of the Army to that of Lord Hanuman, Parikkar said, “I only made the Army aware of the powers it already possessed and it succeeded. On Modiji’s instructions, the Army did a brilliant job. On behalf of the country, I congratulate the troops [involved in the surgical strikes].”
As to the objectives of the strike, the Defence Minister said, “We don’t want to capture any country. Like Lord Rama conquered Lanka and gave it to Vibhishan, we did the same in the Bangladesh operation.”
Further, it is learnt that even as India was still giving “final touches” to its proposal to put Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on the list of United Nations’ proscribed terrorists, China announced that the “technical hold” to designate him as a terrorist had been extended by another three months.
According to media reports, China decided to extend the “technical hold” put by it in April this year just hours before the UN sanctions committee was to take up the proposal last Monday. China informed the New York-based UN committee of its decision to extend the hold on Friday evening, the last working day of the week. India could not even submit its proposal.
Indian security agencies have accused Azhar, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, of orchestrating several terror attacks in India, the latest being the attack at an Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri. A senior government official said India would have apprised the 1267 Taliban/Al-Qaeda sanction committee that Azhar has close links to the Taliban and consequently to Al Qaeda. Apart from Azhar’s involvement in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001, the Pathankot airbase attack on January 2, India had also incorporated details about his direct involvement in the September 18 attack at an Army camp in Uri, where 19 Indian Army soldiers were killed.
Azhar also runs a charitable organisation- Al Rehmat Trust as a cover for the activities of his terrorist outfit the JeM.
“We were going to inform the UN committee that elements of JeM have received training in tactics, use of weapons and psychological warfare from Pakistan,” said a senior home ministry official. Meanwhile, Army chief Dalbir Singh, who is on a visit to Northern areas, met with top commanders and got a first-hand assessment of the security situation amid heightened tensions along the LoC and the international border. While Lt. Gen. Surinder Singh, GOC-in-C, Western Command, briefed the Army chief about the situation in his sector, Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda, GOC-in-C, did the same about the Northern Command.