New Delhi: Pakistan has once again shown its cowardly face. Unsoldierly acts like mutilation of soldiers have rekindled the embers in the hearts of Indian soldiers who give their everything to safeguard the borders and fight an enemy that doesn't believe in the code of honour followed by most armies across the world.
Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh (22 Sikh Regiment) and Prem Sagar (200 BSF Battalion) were killed and their bodies were mutilated by a Border Action Team of Pakistan, with aide from the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), in a planned ambush 200 metres inside Indian territory in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
As their bodies reached home, the Modi government and the security forces have made it clear that their supreme sacrifice “will not go in vain.”
But what are the options available on the ground?
Many have suggested and demanded that Indian forces once again carry out a surgical strike like the one undertaken to avenge the attack on the Army camp in Uri that left 19 soldiers dead.
But given the very nature of the conflict along the 778 km long LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, a surgical strike, which entails targeted action on a localised area may not be the right approach in the current scenario.
Also, it will be foolhardy to enter Pakistan-controlled territory when the other side is on high-alert to repel any offensive action by the Indian Army.
The Indian Army does give it back but always at the time and place of its choosing. Army Chief Bipin Rawat is in Srinagar, the plan will surely be in the making.
Reports said that the Army is looking at the option of unleashing its artillery guns on Pakistani forward posts. This approach may ensure that the posts, which are used to carry out ambushes, like the one yesterday, are smoked out.
Pakistan's Border Action Team - All you need to know about 'barbaric' force which beheaded Indian soldiers
India had unleashed "punitive" artillery fire assaults on forward Pakistan army posts after two Indian soldiers were similarly beheaded, with their heads taken back as trophies, in the Macchil sector in October-November last year.
The third option could be to reply back to Pakistan in its own language by conducting raids across the border by small teams of elite commandos - braveheart Prem Sagar's daughter has demanded that Indian forces bring back heads of 50 soldiers to avenge the barbarism against her father.
The fourth and final option can be a multi-pronged targeted approach to corner Pakistan. As some experts have opined, Pakistan, which lives in a constant state of denial about the cowardly acts committed by its soldiers on the border, will not be inconvenienced by small-scale counteroffensives. And given the track record of the Pakistani Army, that has time and again, disowned bodies of its soldiers, they won't feel the pinch.
Indian could conduct the right localised raids across the border on the staging points from where militants make their way across the border and at the same time isolate Pakistan at the diplomatic level.
And there too, India will have to move ahead of the practice of issuing threats and take action on the ground. There are many bilateral treaties between the two nations, like the Indus water treaty; if India were go renegade on them, Pakistan will feel the real pinch. Cross-border trade is also an area where the need of the hour is to take strong steps.
Clearly, the mood of the nation is strongly against the utility of holding talks with Pakistan when our soldiers are arriving home in coffins.
The Modi government needs to respond in a language that Pakistan understands!