New Delhi: India on Monday mooted options against Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack, with the Army vowing to pick its own "time and place" to retaliate and the political leadership authorising a global diplomatic blitz aimed at isolating Islamabad as a backer of terrorism.
United States of America, Russia, France, Canada, and Afghanistan are among several other countries which condemned the Uri attack, which claimed the lives of 18 Army personnel, even as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hoped that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
India has blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad for the attack. The group, which has not claimed responsibility, was also accused of mounting the January attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot that left seven soldiers dead.
Under pressure to give a befitting reply to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday summoned a meeting of senior ministers and military and security advisers to formulate an appropriate response.
Here are the options India can explore in this situation:
A covert strike on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). With the help of Mirage 2000s, Sukhoi 30MKIs and Jaguars, India can go for the option, but the Indian Air Force risks suffering losses. The strike could lead to a full-fledged war between India and Pakistan.
Myanmar-like raid by special forces. The Indian Army had launched attacks at two points along the Indo-Myanmar border last year, killing several militants involved in attacks on security forces. The operation was a response to the June 4, 2015, attack on an Indian Army convoy in which 18 soldiers of the 6 Dogra regiment were killed. The option of sending special forces inside Pakistan to attack guerrilla training camps has been weighed by India, but that could go wrong as Pakistan is not Myanmar.
Attack Pakistan posts with the help of BrahMos missiles. The option could lead to a bigger conflict. The fact that Pakistan is a nuclear state cannot be underrated.
War across border. The Indian forces can use increased artillery and heavy weapons across the Line of Control to inflict damage, however, it won't destroy Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad camps.
The Baloch card. India can give Pakistan a dose of its own medicine by intensifying the offensive over Balochistan.
Diplomacy at international level. India can go for a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan at major global fora -- including the upcoming UN General Assembly – and isolate the nuclear state.
Bilateral talks. India can engage in talks with the civilian leadership in Pakistan. But this goes against New Delhi’s stated line that terror and talks can’t go hand in hand.
Pakistan has denied any involvement in the Sunday assault, saying India was blaming it even without conducting any investigation.
In New Delhi, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters that India was not concerned about Pakistani denials.
It is now to be seen how the Modi government responds to the demands of citizens that Pakistan should be taught a lesson this time.