Surgical strikes: The need for more as 300 terrorists have resurfaced across the border
New Delhi, Sep 28: It has been two years since the Indian Armed Forces carried out surgical strikes in dismantle Pakistan based terror groups. Post the strikes, an official statement said that the Army has caused significant damage to the terror infrastructure.
How much damage did these strikes create on the terror infrastructure in Pakistan. Have the terror launch pads vanished along the Line of Control? Let us take a look.
The terror factories did take a major beating following the surgical strikes. However over the past two years, the launch pads are back and an Intelligence Bureau report says that there are at least 300 terrorists who are waiting to infiltrate.
Security officials say that in the surgical strike the Army had managed to destroy nearly 30 launch pads. However as of today, an estimate would suggest that there are around 20 to 25 launch pads, which are housing these 300 terrorists.
Terrorism got a major boost following the death of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander. His name was used as an excuse to recruit youth into terror groups. This led to rise of terrorists in the Valley, while on the other hand, Pakistan continued to set up terror sanctuaries across the border.
A senior intelligence official tells OneIndia that the manner in which these terrorists are mushrooming, it is clear that the elected government has no control over the ISI and Pakistan army. Since the death of Wani, the number of launch pads have risen from 14 to 25. Further it has also been noticed that these are common launch pads for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.
This steady rise in the number of terrorists and their launch pads have been a matter of concern for the security forces. This has led to talk about conducting not one, but a series of surgical strikes. An officer pointed out, such strikes have limited effects and there has been to be a sustained effort to hurt such terror sanctuaries.
Pakistan is clear about what it wants to do. It has been fighting India on several fronts, which also includes a propaganda war. The recent killings of the SPOs and the warning to resign is part of the propaganda war.
Further the Hizbul Mujahideen has been directed to recruit heavily in the Valley. With the number of terrorists going up within the Valley, one has witnessed an encounter every single day. Further a hit-list of the top commanders too has been prepared and eliminating them would be crucial to curb the menace, officials also say.
More strikes at time and place of Army's choosing:
Highly placed sources tell OneIndia that action against Pakistan is round the corner. The source also said that the action would deal a double blow for Pakistan both along the border as well as in Jammu and Kashmir.
The source indicated a series of strikes across the border was an option. When asked if there could be a surgical strike across the border, the source said that this cannot be ruled out. However the difference this time would that the action would be a sustained one.
Following the earlier surgical strike, Pakistan had quietened down for a while and the terror factories across the Line of Control had moved backwards. However they returned a couple of months later and began spreading havoc both along the border and the Valley.
Security officials say that there is a need for sustained action. The Army and the top brass in the government have already begun discussions on the counter to Pakistan. The source said that it may be more than one surgical strike to keep the pressure on Pakistan continuously.
The Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat too had hinted that surgical strikes were being planned. He said that surgical strike is a weapon of surprise and let it remain a surprise. He said that it is not the first time that Pakistan has carried out a barbaric act and added that stern action is needed to avenge these actions.
The action would be a time and place of choosing of the Indian Army. Sources say that such an action could be expected sometime after October. The immediate concern for now is the smooth conduct of the urban body and Panchayat elections in the Valley.
A strategy in the Valley:
It may be recalled that the Army had prepared a fresh hit-list in the Valley. It had the names of nearly 10 top commanders of terror groups, which also included Riyaz Naikoo who had called for the resignations of the Kashmir police personnel.
The police and the Army have been given a free hand to go ahead and gun down the commanders. A fresh strategy is being evolved and security officials say that 'Operation Wipe Out," would take place soon.
While there is no denying that the commanders would be taken down soon, the problem however is that the urban body and Panchayat polls are scheduled for October and November. Any major action would be carefully measured, before it is launched.