As a nation which was still bristling over the bloody Pulwama attack, thanks to the Indian Air Force, the ‘Josh’ has come back. In an early dawn operation, in a matter of less than an hour, the Indian Air Force avenged the Pulwama massacre by bombing the terror training camps and hideouts in PoK and Pakistan resulting in a large number of casualties.
The Significance of this Attack
- As a responsible power, India has responded through conventional military means to terror tactics of terrorists and their Pakistani backers.
- Although the timing denotes revenge, given that there were solid intelligence inputs about imminent and large-scale suicide attacks by JEM, it was a non-military pre-emptive action specifically targeted at JEM camps.
- The daredevilry and courage is evident from the fact that one of the key centres of attack happened to be far afield into Balakot, a province in the Khyber Paktunkhwa province of Pakistan, apart from Muzaffarabad and Chakothi.
- Balakot the biggest training camp of JEM – run by Maulana Yusuf Azhar, brother-in-law of Massod Azhar – has been bombed out of existence with a large no of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jehadis ending up as casualties.
- For those doubting the operation in Balakot in Khyber Paktunkhwa, defence experts have made it clear that the given the range of our attack capabilities, the Indian air force could well have crossed the borders of Pakistan and launched from afar or even beyond visual range.
- The meticulous planning and professionalism of our air forces ensured that there was no collateral damage or any civilian casualties.
- It is also a loud reminder to Pakistan which back in 2004 had formally committed not to allow its soil to be used for terror networks and operations. The same JEM was behind the attack on parliament in 2001 and the Pathankot attack in 2016.
Many Firsts Since 1971
- This is the first time that the Indian forces have entered beyond LoC deep, and even crossed Pakistani borders into the country.
- This is the first time ever that Pakistan has openly acknowledged the Indian forces breaching LoC.
- This is the first time that the Indian Air Force, and not the army or the navy, has led such a large scale well-publicised attack.
Therefore, while the attack may be military in its form, the real deal is the strong political messaging that it projects to both Pakistan and the rest of the world: That India will not allow itself to be pushed around by Pakistani army and its proxies any more. Nuclear or no nuclear Pakistan, the New India will respond in kind. So these airstrikes are a resounding reflection of the New India’s resolve – to hit where it hurts the most.