Balakot airstrike: Narendra Modi's strategic pragmatism

With air strikes, Modi shows time and patience are the biggest warriors for him

ajay

Ajay Singh | February 27, 2019 | Delhi


#Narendra Modi   #Balakot airstrike   #terrorism   #Pakistan   #Pulwama   #Indian army  
Prime minister Narendra Modi takes metro to attend the Gita Aradhana Mahotsav, at ISKCON Temple, in New Delhi on February 26
Prime minister Narendra Modi takes metro to attend the Gita Aradhana Mahotsav, at ISKCON Temple, in New Delhi on February 26

Just as army commandos who conducted surgical strikes in September 2016 returned safely to their base, India’s Director General of Military Operation (DGMO) called his counterpart in Pakistan and informed him about the action against terrorist camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). Though the Pakistani DGMO was aware of the situation by then, he asked the Indian army official not reveal the details and casualty figures in his media briefing.

 
In the day’s briefing, Indian army official accompanied by an MEA spokesman neither revealed the details nor shared the casualty figures. The reason for this unseemly request from the Pakistani side was quite apparent. Pakistan’s army establishment desperately needed a space to wiggle out of this crisis and deny any raids. As expected, Pakistan did exactly that.
 
In fact, it falls into a pattern if one looks at Pakistan’s denial of casualties and real damage the Indian Air Force has inflicted on terror camps in POK and Pakistan early Tuesday morning. They acknowledged the intrusion of their airspace as it was simply undeniable. The subsequent bravado is aimed clearly at masking the Pakistani state’s criminality in allowing the setting up of these camps.
 
The manner in which the Indian forces carried out the strikes was remarkable. It was indeed a measure of not only political maturity but also strategic pragmatism that the air force was given a specific brief – destroy camps and avoid civilian areas. Like in the first surgical strike, India this time also described its air strikes as a “non-military” operation carried out to protect itself from terrorists being trained on Pakistani soil, based on credible intelligence inputs.
 
As is evident, the formulation is quite careful to give space for Pakistan to negotiate out of this dilemma if it wants to. At the same time, it is too naïve to imagine that the air strikes on certain terror’ training camps would act as an effective deterrent for the deep state in Pakistan that controls the nation’s political economy. The military-political relations in Pakistan are expected to be strained further following these air strikes.
 
Apparently the Pakistani military establishment has thrived on anti-India propaganda and its ability to convince people of Pakistan about its status as their saviour. The air strikes, penetrating its defence, have left a big question mark on its ability to protect the country. It is good news for political actors in that state. But the military establishment is unlikely to let go of its control over the state so easily.
 
Soon after the surgical strike in 2016, the Indian government had received certain credible inputs about the possibility of Pakistan’s ISI staging a high-profile terrorist attack in Goa which was about to host the BRICS summit in October. Intelligence agencies and security forces then neutralised many ISI modules and launched covert operations to plug loopholes in the international security. 
 
Those who know the thinking in the government confirm that the air strikes deep inside Pakistan are certainly not an episodic response from India to cross-border terrorism. The government in consultation with the armed forces and security agencies have also factored in all eventualities and prepared an elaborate response for each of them. “Today’s action is just a sequel to similar actions in the past to raise the threshold level and the cost for Pakistan to patronise terrorism,” said a government functionary.
 
On his part, prime minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken the air strikes as business as usual. Till Tuesday night he continued with the agenda without giving any indication of the possibility of a major action. In the morning too, he attended all his programmes as usual including holding a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and even travelled by Delhi Metro, mingling with passengers to reach the ISKCON temple. Quite evidently he seems to be guided by the maxim that says time and patience are the biggest warriors. He chooses his own time to react to a situation and displays infinite patient in the face of heavy odds.
 
[This comment has appeared on FirstPost.com]
 

Comments

 

Other News

Where the true sadhana of Vedanta is to be found

Somewhere Among the Stars: Reflections of a Mystic By Adi Varuni Kali/BluOne Ink, 282 pages, Rs 395 Decades ago, when an unknown N

India celebrates National Voters’ Day

The 13th National Voters’ Day was celebrated across the country Wednesday with president Droupadi Murmu gracing the national event held here. Kiren Rijiju, union minister for law & justice, was the guest of honour. The chief election commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, election commissioners Anup Chandra

INS Vagir to give fillip to Navy: Admiral Hari Kumar

The Indian Navy commissioned its fifth stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Vagir on Monday at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai in the presence of Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff. Vagir was launched on November 12, 2020, under Project 75 (P75) and post completion of sea trials it w

Uddhav joins hands with Prakash Ambedkar ahead of BMC polls

Ahead of the Mumbai civic polls, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday announced an alliance with Prakash Ambedkar`s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). Addressing a joint press conference, Thackeray said their grandfathers, Keshav Thackeray and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, were conte

How women leaders enable collective action at local level

Ela R. Bhatt, the founder of SEWA, once said, “There is ample proof to demonstrate that women can and do build strong and vital organizations around issues that relate to them, and find viable solutions out of their own experiences.” Women Leadership Schools (WLSs) promoted by Se

Endorsement guidelines issued for celebs and social media influencers

The department of consumer affairs under the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution released a guide, ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’, for celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers on social media platforms here on Friday. The guide aims to ensure that individuals do not mi

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter