Surgical Strike : What changed on terror launchpads across LoC


New Delhi : The phrase “surgical strike” has become popular in India since the Indian military carried out a cross-border operation against terror camps in Pakistan two years ago. On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launchpads across the LoC in retaliation to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. The Army had said its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists waiting there to cross into Indian territory.

Last week, the government unveiled its plans to celebrate “Surgical Strike Day” on 29 September. Well, the question here why now, why was this not done last year, why ahead of elections? But while speaking at press conference Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar was clear that the government is right, he said, “Where is politics? This is not politics but patriotism.” On the other hand almost on cue, the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat last week called out for another “stern action” against Pakistan to avenge the recent death of Indian soldiers on the border, alluding to another surgical strike. Well, this just one part of the entire surgical strike anniversary, there is more to this. The surgical strike is a matter of pride for India as the military did a commendable job, but it does have a positive and negative side to it.

Following are some positive and negative points of 2016 surgical strike:

Some positive sides of the surgical strike:

  • Indian military troops were being killed on the border, by conducting this surgical strike India showed Pakistan that its limit of patience had been crossed.
  • Even the International governments did not denounce the surgical strike, which gave a strong message to Pakistan that international opinion would support India because “Pakistan has been asking for it!”
  • While in India people were demanding stern action against Pakistan for its continuous cross-border firing, so the BJP government also have benefitted from this.

While these were the positives, there were a few significant negatives as well

  • While the Indian military did a commendable job, the surgical strike did affect the Indo-Pak relationship. The strike brought India-Pakistan relations to their lowest point in almost a decade. The question of Indo-Pak peace talks has diminished after the strike.
  • The surgical strike proved a point that India’s limit of patience had been crossed, but after which the Pakistani terrorists didn’t stop. Every day, till date, Indian troops are killed, and they been indulged in further violence.
  • Even though casualties are on higher side on both sides, but India remains constrained in what it can do to Pakistan for fear of a larger war, the associated nuclear risks, and the impact on India’s own diplomatic and economic well-being.