'Surgical Strikes are done as and when required'

The central government has dropped hints that surgical strike may not be a one-time affair. PTI (file photo)

The central government has dropped hints that cross-border raids on the terror camps like the 2016 surgical strike may not be a one-time affair.

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha earlier this week, Subhash Bhamre, the Minister of State for Defence said Indian Army carried out such operations based on specific and credible inputs.

“Based on specific and credible inputs about terrorist teams having positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army carries out operations to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists, as and when required,” he said.

The minister, however, didn’t respond to the specific query posed by four lawmakers who wanted to know the details of surgical strikes on Pakistan Army in the last 15 years.
The disclosure of the surgical strike by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, then director general of military operations with the full support of the Narendra Modi government, was a first for the government as for the first time, India owned up the responsibility of carrying out such cross-border strikes.

Such raids happened in the past too but never officially recognized. Army officials would sometimes talk about those operations in a closed circle, but never on-the-record.

An indirect response came only once from former army chief general Bikram Singh, who when asked whether Indian Army had been able to retaliate against an audacious Pakistan terror attack across the border, asserted that indeed a strong response was given, but the army was careful not to escalate the conflict to a strategic level.

Even the surgical strike was against the terror camps across the border and not against the Pakistan Army – a distinction made clear by Lt Gen Ranbir from the day one. After the operations were over, India claims to have shared its details with Pakistan Army, but Pakistan government denied having any such strike taken place.

India never released any evidence in support of the operation, but selectively leaked out information to a section of the media, creating an aura of mystery around the cross-border commando strike, which reportedly took place 3-5 km inside Pakistan territory.


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'Surgical Strikes are done as and when required'


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