It was February 14, 2019 when the whole nation was submerged in gloom of losing 40 CRPF personnel and Jawans at Pulwama in IED blasts. The responsibility was taken by Pakistan based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad. The layers of sorrow and grief were removed from the Indian hearts on February 26, 2019 as Indian Air Force set Jaish-e-Mohammad militant camps ablaze by penetrating 80 kms beyond the LoC in Pakistan. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighter jets of Indian Air Force struck the terrorist camp with 1000 kg payload at Balakot, Pakistan. It is claimed to be the major camp of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Indian Josh set the Jaish ablaze in this Surgical Strike 2. This achievement of the Indian Air Force is result of the courage and valor of IAF soldiers under the able leadership of Indian Government. It is not that this is the first time India has showed her superior abilities in counter-terrorist activities, yet, there are few unique points noteworthy in case of Surgical Strike 2.
Surgical Strike 2 has very aptly showcased the strategic planning and implementation capacities of Indian Government and Indian Army. Although the loss of CRPF Jawans in the Pulwama IED blasts has created a deep impact, yet, a major part of it has been subsided by the success of the Surgical Strike 2. Now as we are celebrating the victory of IAF and our response to the Pulwama militant attack, we must know how Surgical Strike 2 got planned.
The pre-dawn air strikes across the LoC at Pakistan, carried out by IAF, proved that Indian Josh takes the form of fatality and unstoppable wrath when someone thinks of challenging the national security. It is the Indian Josh which set the JeM or Jaish camps ablaze. Updated reports are claiming militant death toll to be around 350. Let us have a brief view of the timeline of the Surgical Strike 2 post the planning process on the day of action.
Pakistan’s response: Pakistan via its Inter-Services Public Relations (DGSIPR) Twitter handle tweeted: “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage (sic),” the tweet by @OfficialDGISPR said. The tweet came three hours after another tweet from the same handle saying: “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow.”
Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan reportedly held an emergency meeting at 11 am (PST)on February 26, 2019. Pakistan’s top brass will assemble at the Foreign Office in Islamabad to discuss the emerging situation in the wake of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) violation of the LoC. While PM Imran Khan has refrained from a comment this far, his political party Tehreek-e-Insaf responded to a media report of the event, calling it “side effect of Bollywood” and adding that it was “hazardous to Indian media’s mental health.” They also mentioned that it “might induce hallucinations and delusions of grandeur.”
Addressing the media, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that India has carried out a misadventure against Pakistan. “I will call it a grave aggression. We had warned the world that such an act can take place. Today they carried out this misadventure against Pakistan. This is a violation of the Line of Control. Pakistan reserves the right to an adequate response and a right to self defence. I will meet the Prime Minister and present him with the view of the Foreign Ministry,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level CCS meeting in New Delhi early on February 26 morning along with Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Arun Jaitley on the attack. Modi also briefed President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu about Indian Air Force’s striking a JeM terror camp in Balakot.
The international response to the IAF air strike has been on expected lines so far. China, an ally of Pakistan, has asked the two countries to de-escalate the tensions while Australia has supported India. In the era of Donald Trump and a Europe caught up with Brexit and its own economic and social problems, international reaction will be muted and varied, if not unresponsive or indifferent.
That the IAF air strike reportedly killed no civilian should go to India’s credit. The government’s terminology, calling it a “non-military, pre-emptive action”, is a smart one and should assuage any international misgivings. It has pointedly mentioned JeM as being its target and calls upon Pakistan to honour its 2004 commitment to not allow home-grown terrorism to target India.