In the past, India has always shown the utmost restraint in spite of repeated terror attacks emanating from the soil of its neighbours – something that they either deny or justify on some ludicrous ground or the other – but now, with the latest surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), it seems that India has decided to shed that restraint. It has gone ahead and dealt forcefully with the one that had wronged it.
On 29th September, Indian Army crossed over the Line of Control (LOC) and hit areas that were being used by anti-Indian terrorists to shelter themselves.
The ground for this was laid on 7th October 2014 when Ajit Doval, the National Security Adviser, went ahead and called the-then Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF). He instructed him to always respond to any cross-border firing – even the slightest ones – from Pakistan with full power.
Responding to ceasefire violations
Doval had even provided full freedom to the Director General to keep firing as they saw fit and not stop till the infrastructure of Pakistan Rangers was destroyed. He asked him to observe this stance until ceasefire violations stopped. He had also asked them to refrain from flag meetings with their Pakistani counterparts in such cases. This stance seemed to have paid off when Pakistani infrastructure was hugely damaged following firing from the Indian side and soon enough they had no option but to wave the white flag.
Change in stance with change in government
Ever since BJP came to power in May two years back, India’s stance has changed quite a lot. Whenever Pakistani Rangers have shelled and fired across the Indian border they have been met with a proper response. In fact, during October 2016, Major General Umar Farooq, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Director General, visited Delhi to talk with BSF, forces in Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and it continued for a couple of days>
Doval, along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had asked BSF to provide a reply that befitted such behaviour. The strikes from BSF claimed the life of 26 civilians in Pakistan and this led to Major General Farooq to call up DK Pathak, then the head of BSF, and ask him to stop the attacks.
Surgical strikes at Myanmar
During June 2015 the Indian Army had carried out similar strikes at NSCN (K) camps in Myanmar. This was done after the army was ambushed by the Burmese terrorists and the idea was provided by Doval as well.
The effect of this policy shift
This change in policy has had a highly-positive impact on the morale of security forces stationed in the border areas and one feels that Pakistan may have now an idea of what losses it could sustain in case it kept up this proxy-war against India. No more are soldiers sitting ducks for the cross-border miscreants and they have been given the leeway to respond as they see fit in case their own existence is in danger.
Even on 29th September when the Indian soldiers had come back following the surgical strike, the BSF posts at Baramulla and Rajouri were fired at by Pakistani soldiers. Officials feel that it happened because of frustration. Even though no soldiers were hurt, they did respond properly to the attacks.
Present situation in the border
BSF has presently been put on the highest alert in the entire western corridor stretching from Jammu to Gujarat. The authority figures have been asked to keep patrolling the areas and also respond to any firing with even greater intensity. BSF has also been advising the local administrative bodies in Jammu and Punjab so that they can evacuate the bordering villages to safe locations. It is expected that Pakistan may fire even more because of frustration.
Support from the US
India has received support from the US regarding the topic of cross-border terrorism and has also warned Pakistan because it has failed to take any steps against terrorists and criminals marked by the UN. In fact, the US has been on the receiving end of much terrorist activities from groups such as Taliban and LeT in Afghanistan. It has stated quite clearly that such events are absolutely unacceptable. In fact, at a recent session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Nawaz Sharif was severely reprimanded by John Kerry.
Who is Ajit Doval?
Before being the NSA, Doval used to be a spy and is regarded as the best of his kind in India along with the likes of Ravindra Kaushik. He has been in some major missions for India and is now using his experience as NSA. He spent at least 10 years as a spy in Pakistan and also was there in the Golden Temple in the days leading up to Operation Blue Star. There, he posed as a spy from Pakistan and collected valuable intelligence from the rebels that ultimately helped the Indian Army pull off the operation successfully.
He also played a major role in alleviating the problem of the Mizo National Front, an underground body that was causing major problems during the 1980s. He infiltrated the same and then took away several of their top leaders. This ultimately negated the issue to a great deal. He has also played a major role in solving the Kashmir issue by interacting with former well-known militants such as Kukkay Parey as a mole and helped them see the logic of peace over continued conflicts. He also negotiated with ones who had hijacked the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 at Kandahar in 1999. Doval has earlier served as the head of IB.