18th September is a date we are going to remember for a very long time, for it marks the day that is forever going to change the India-Pakistan “peace” narrative…or at least, I hope it does…for I refuse to believe that we will be able to (let alone if we should) put the death of our 18 soldiers behind us and proceed along the hollow diplomatic path and go on pretending that all was indeed peaches-and-cream in the Indian subcontinent.
In what can only be described as one of the deadliest attacks in 20 years, inside the Indian-administered Kashmir, four heavily-armed terrorists sneaked into a battalion headquarters of the Army camp in North Kashmir’s garrison-town of Uri in the wee hours of Sunday morning and carried out a deadly attack against our forces. Although, the bigger question that needs to be addressed is how these armed terrorists even manage to infiltrate our army camp. Well, if initial reports are anything to go by, apparently these terrorists attacked during a change of command. Of course, there four terrorists were put down but not before they had managed to kill 17 of our jawans and injuring another 19, one of whom succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Soon after the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to categorically condemn the ambush attack in Uri and went on to promise the nation that the perpetrators behind this despicable attack would not go unpunished. The PM also held a high-level meeting, which was attended by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army chief Dalbir Singh in order to gauge the situation and work out a possible long-term retaliation strategy that would weaken the terrorist network and forever put a damper into Pakistan’s proxy war. [Note: There was another secret high-level meeting was held in confidence between Ajit Doval and Narendra Modi, whose details were not available to the press or media.]
One thing that becomes abundantly clear is that the Indian Prime Minister, unlike his earlier counterparts, is not keen to take things lying down and is looking to get on the offensive. In fact, so strong is the message that has gone out from the Indian high command that according to a PTI report from Islamabad, the Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif too met his top commanders. According to sources, the Pakistani Army chief has asked his men to remain “watchful” given India’s “hostile narrative” post the Uri attack. In fact, in a public statement, the Army chief was quoted as saying that the “armed forces of Pakistan are fully prepared to respond to entire spectrum of direct and indirect threat.”
While it has been clear that Narendra Modi plans to isolate the Pakistanis on the global platform and is eyeing to collect more concrete evident (against Pakistan), it is important that India does not deviate from its tough stand. And there is one thing that Pakistan needs to realise…there can’t be any further dialogue till the time it stops its proxy war against India.
In fact, what we need really is to adopt a tougher stand against Pakistan…not just at the global level…but even in the subcontinent where we are constantly involved in a face-off. And we would do well to remember what journalist-writer Conrad Black once said, “Guerrilla wars, and even more so terrorist assaults, are conducted only by forces with insufficient strength to carry out a real war.”