On 3 October 2016, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire four times by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on Indian Army posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving five civilians injured and several shops ablaze.
Reports said in the retaliatory action by the Indian Army, one Pakistani post, Triveni, was destroyed. Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling in Shahpur, Krishnagati, Mandi and Sabzian sectors in Poonch district. The firing in Mandi and Sabzian sectors began from 1345 hours on 03 October, in which Pak forces fired 120 mm, 80 mm mortar bombs, automatic weapons, and small arms. Earlier, Shahpur was targeted with small arms, automatic and mortars. Col Manish Mehta, the Army spokesperson informed this writer that the Army’s response to all these has been appropriate, to say the least. One mortar shell landed in a security force camp in Gangrian in Saujian and it hit oil containers resulting in fire In the fire several shops were gutted. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the fire.
That is one day’s scenario. The rate at which Pak army/rangers are popping off ammunition in their frustration and anger, it will be quite an exercise to keep a count of the cease-fire violations and the attacks, for which Pak army is constrained to resort to depending on the ‘sleeper’ cells, wherever possible in the valley. During the recent months of rioting in the Valley, there were Pakistani terrorists also participating, because apart from stones, lathis and crude ‘bangalore torpedoes, some automatic weapons were also used. They also attended Burhan Wani’s funeral and rallies in Pakistan.
For the government and Indian Army, the very decision to opt for a surgical strike/surprise attack meant calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff and perhaps even accepting the possibility of another war. Although Pak army’s leadership has been known to be stupid/senseless and irresponsible to keep expressing threats of a nuclear response, it is hoped that they have their brains in reasonable control. Unfortunately for India and the world, Pak army’s ‘force multipliers’, the jihadis who Pak army has nurtured, are the ones who Pakistan’s public and big powers, including China, Pakistan’s “all-weather friend”, need to be worried about.
As to Pakistan Army responding with nuclear weapons, even if it has “tactical nukes”, will it be stupid enough to do so? Very often in the past many of us veterans watching closely and writing/commenting frequently, have said that we must call Pakistan’s oft-repeated nuclear bluff. Will the Pakistan Army opt for a full-fledged war? While it has immediately stopped its personnel’s leave, it does not seem to have that capability for a full-fledged conventional war, which is why after 1971, it switched to the export of terror. If it resorts to limited war like Kargil in 1999, it will again get an appropriate response.
The New York Times citing a 50-minute audio hacked from the Democratic Party’s computers when Hillary Clinton spoke at a closed-door fundraiser in Virginia in February, quoted her: “Pakistan is running full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India… But we live in fear that they’re going to have a coup, that jihadists are going to take over the government, they’re going to get access to nuclear weapons, and you’ll have suicide nuclear bombers. So, this could not be a more threatening scenario.”
Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who does not know a platoon from a pontoon, threatened to nuke India if New Delhi retaliated to the Uri terrorist attacks. He is not the first of Pakistan leaders to sound stupid and irresponsible. But with few days left for the Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif to retire and the way things are in Pakistan after India’s surgical strike, the US and other countries must seriously note the risk of Pakistan’s nukes falling into horrendous hands.
Meanwhile, Indian Army on the LoC and the stretch short of it, BSF on the International Boundary (IB) and CRPF and JK police in urban and rural areas will keep giving appropriate, responses. But Pakistan in a mad mode is not India’s only problem. India’s peaceniks, including some opposition and other political leaders, are again on a self-goal scoring spree as they want photographic proof of the surgical strikes to be made public – something Pak’s Inter-Services Intelligence is desperate to see. There are news reports galore of some political leaders doubting Indian Army’s successful surgical strikes/referring to them as fake. Initially, all political parties had agreed fully with the government’s decision of targeting the Pakistani terrorists in POK. What then prompted them to freak out again?
Former Army Chief and Member of Parliament, General Shankar Roy Chowdhury has gone on record on electronic media to say about these ‘doubting Thomases’: “Either they are incredibly foolish, or incredibly cunning , or are holding a brief for forces inimical to India”.
Unfortunately, the old Hindi saying is applicable again-aise apnon ke sath dushman ki zarurat nahi (with such friends, we do not need enemies).