It is a sad time for all Indians. An attack in the CRPF convoy perpetrated by an Indian Kashmiri, supported by Pakistan has managed to escalate things to a new level. PM Modi said that these terrorist organisations have made a huge mistake. Free hand has been given to the forces to act, PM Modi added.
PM Modi has shown in the past that it can be a friend and an enemy to Pakistan, whatever the situation dictates. Pakistan has to know that a retaliation is on its way, and that too not a proportional one as this is an extra-ordinary situation, no less than an act of war. Given that the number of casualties is very high this time and that it is an election season, Mr. Modi will not let this go unanswered.
Just yesterday (15th February) India revoked the Most Favoured Nation status given to Pakistan, which by the way is a gesture Pakistan has never reciprocated. As this article was being written, there was another CCS meeting going underway in which all options of retaliation are on the table, even military ones, as reported by Economic Times.
The retaliation is perceived to be multi-dimensional this time. India has already ceased all trade with Pakistan. A military action is being developed. NSA Ajit Doval is said to have conducted several meetings over the past two days with chief of R&AW and IB. India has also been lobbying other countries, especially US to isolate Pakistan internationally.
A military action this time is expected to be more than a Surgical Strike. As Pakistan will be expecting a reaction from the Indian side, devising a strategy on how to take Pakistan by surprise again can take some days. During the Surgical Strikes, there were two battalions of Special Forces who went over to the other side and conducted the heroic raid. These two battalions know the insides of Pakistan very well and they have to be used again. It is only a matter of time that a military action will be taken.
When the Uri attack happened, there were many voices in the media and the academic world saying that India should end all diplomatic ties with Pakistan. The Pakistan embassy had to be closed down and all the diplomats of Pakistan should be given 48 hours to pack up their stuff and leave. This time such a decision has to be taken. And then India should lobby the other countries to persuade them to isolate Pakistan. Some might argue that US needs Pakistan for now to ensure continuation of the Peace Talks in Afghanistan so US might be reluctant in taking an action now. But India is a far greater friend to US than Pakistan is and US does not prefer to choose Pakistan over India as US has a lot of long term interests in India.
As reported by The Times of India, military action could range from “shallow” ground based attack to a precision air strike against the non-state actors in PoK. Fighters like Sukhoi 30MKIs, Mirage 2000s and Jaguars will be armed with missiles and bombs and will help in taking out terror camps and launch pads. But such retaliation will invite lot of flak from Pakistan also. It is being said that R&AW’s assets on the ground in Pakistan might be used to foment trouble in Balochistan and Sindh.
The government has to be very careful now as such an attack will help serve the purpose of Pakistan’s terrorist groups by radicalising more youth in the valley and all over India. So, the domestic situation might also get escalated. This is a time when India’s resolve will be tested the most and India has to mourn as one and not let this attack destroy the social fabric of India, which is known for its pluralism and inclusiveness.