Surgical strikes: When India decided enough is enough

Surgical strikes: When India decided enough is enough
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India and Pakistan have always had a tempestuous relation, courtesy Islamabad's 'bleed India with a thousand cuts' policy. Since Independence, India has suffered numerous terrorist attacks such as 26/11, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and 2006 Mumbai train bombings.

And all these dastardly terror attacks have had one similarity - Pakistani stamp.

Pakistan has a long record of carrying out cross-border terrorism as an instrument of state policy and over the years India has suffered numerous terrorist attacks which have been supported and sponsored by the establishment including the notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistani Army.

2016 was no different, it all started with Pathankot air base terror attack in January, which was carried out by terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammmad (JeM) led by Masood Azhar. The attack killed seven security personnel and led to a downslide in Indo-Pak bilateral ties.

Besides JeM, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a subsidiary of terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba has continuously targeted India.

In September this year, heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir's Uri town in the wee hours of September 18, killing 18 jawans and injuring 20 other personnel.

Talking tough, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to the nation that that those behind the "despicable and cowardly" attack would not go unpunished.

The promise was fulfilled. Just few days later, India carried out surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) with the Army inflicting "significant casualties" on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Reports claimed around 40 terrorists were present in the seven terror launch pads and they may have been killed. However, there was no official word on it.

Following the surgical strikes, the relations between the two immediate neighbours took a major hit.

The situation became so tense that the people living along the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab were asked to shift to safer places and schools ordered to be shut.

Since the surgical strikes, Pakistan has resorted to relentless unprovoked shelling along the border in order to help terrorists sneak into the Indian side.

Seven soldiers, including two officers and five of other ranks, were killed in Nagrota on November 28, when three terrorists dressed in police uniform stormed an Army camp of a field regiment in the town.

Following the terror attack, India ruled out any talks with Pakistan, saying it took "very seriously" the killing of seven soldiers. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan cannot be taken as the new normal and asked Islamabad to stop using terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy.

He ruled out any possibility of resuming peace talks with the neighbouring country and said: "We will never accept continued cross-border terror as the new normal. Pakistan must stop terror and then we can talk."

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