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The article explains the ‘Surgical strike’ conducted by Indian army in the Pak occupied Kashmir.

  • A surgical strike is a military attack intended to inflict damage on a specific target, with minimal or no collateral damage to surrounding areas.
  • After running through a variety of non-military responses to the September 18 terrorist strike at an Army camp in Uri, the Centre on Thursday announced that Indian forces had carried out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control.
  • With this, India’s next steps, post-Uri, are in uncharted terrain, with New Delhi abandoning the self-proclaimed policy of “strategic restraint” adopted in the face of earlier provocations by terrorists believed to be backed by Pakistan.
  • The operation, that began and concluded in the early hours of Thursday, was claimed to be a military success, with no injuries to the Indian para-commandos who went across the LoC into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to attack several locations.
  • The decision to strike in this manner was evidently taken after specific intelligence that terrorist groups were planning attacks in India.
  • This may not be the first time India has undertaken quick cross-LoC operations, but it has never before chosen to share information so publicly.
  • The terms “surgical strike” and “pre-emptive strike” used by the Centre were intended to convey that this was not an attack on Pakistan’s defence forces, but a targeted action against terrorists poised to wreak damage in India.
  • Pakistan of course has played down the Indian operation, characterising it as an act of habitual cross-border shelling. It is welcome that New Delhi declared the strikes complete shortly after the operation, with the DGMO calling his Pakistani counterpart to convey that India would not escalate the conflict beyond this.
  • This, along with the briefings held in New Delhi for envoys of various countries, indicates that the Centre wants to end hostilities with Pakistan for the moment.
  • This strengthens the view that the operation was the result of pressure on the Modi government to manufacture a strong response to Uri. Over the past few days there has been a cascade of moves to underline that such provocations cannot be followed with business as usual.
  • The government reviewed the working of the Indus Waters Treaty, declared it is flirting with the idea of reviewing Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation status, and pulled out of the SAARC heads’ meet to be held in Islamabad.
  • 29 September 2016 marks a turning point, with India sending out an unambiguous message: it can no longer be business as usual. There are four reasons for that:
  • Surgical strike by India is a paradigm shift in India’s approach to external threats. It is exactly how an advanced, modern nation would respond to such challenges. The singular message is that it can no longer be business as usual; the message is that India is willing to give and take in its international relations and that it can no longer be taken for granted.
  • Second, the Modi government has demonstrated that nothing is off the table in a negotiation or dialogue. In the build-up to the surgical strikes last night, it unambiguously signalled as much: including its review of a seven-decade-old Indus Water Treaty.
  • Third, India has demonstrated its willingness to undertake risky manoeuvres, albeit calculated ones. This is a dramatic shift from the past, when India’s response was often defensive; countries like Pakistan and China often interpreted this pacifism for the lack of a stomach for a fight.
  • Fourth, like it did in Myanmar—when it chased down an outlawed Naga terrorist outfit—it has signalled that India has the right nous for measured but effective retribution. While war as an option is extremely difficult to exercise and entails huge economic and social costs, surgical strikes, though risky, are relatively easier to undertake swiftly.
  • In the final analysis, it is clear that the Modi government has signalled a change in tack. It will be very difficult to retrace the steps from here. Presumably, it has worked this out in its calculations.
  • Pakistan reaction on surgical strike is somewhat surprising as it has not endorsed that India has conducted any Surgical Strike in Pak Occupied Kashmir.
  • World powers including Britain and China are trying to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan and asked both countries to exercise restraint in the wake of surgical strikes by Indian troops across the Line of Control.
  • Pak media ridiculed and denied surgical strike by Indian troops across the Line of Control. Chinese media has shown expressions of hope and said that all the issues between the two countries can be resolved through meaningful dialogue. British as well as US media do not play down the surgical strike and deem it to be paradigm shift in India’s approach to deal with external threats.
  • If International Relations Experts are to be believed, surgical strike by India will definitely curb Pakistan sponsored terrorism.


Recent surgical strikes conducted by Indian forces highlights abandoning the self proclaimed policy of ‘strategic restraint’ adopted earlier in the face of provocations by terrorist groups. Discuss. Do you think these operations violate the sovereignty of the nation on whose territory these strikes are conducted.

Suggested Approach:

  • India’s earlier policy of ‘strategic restraint’.
  • Why this shift now and is this sustainable for long term.
  • These operations are conducted against terrorists outfits, which does not have national identities, so these strikes can be justified in this context.



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Read 3677 times Last modified on Friday, 30 September 2016 12:24

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