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Mudda examines defence strategies in the wake of repeat ceasefire violations; says preemptive strikes possible in context of infiltration control, but open warfare must be avoided as of now

Since 6.40 in the morning Pakistan has been targeting 40 outposts along the border from Jammu’s RS Pura to Ramgarh in yet another ceasefire violation. Two people, including a woman, are dead and seven have been injured. Even on Wednesday, a BSF constable and a teenage girl were killed in another ceasefire violation. Is India prepared to take decisive action to end this mess?

Panellists on the APN show, Mudda, examined this question on Friday in a lively debate between BJP spokesperson Ashok Thakur, Congress leader Aamir Haidar, defence experts Wing Commander Praful Bakshi and Colonel Shivdaan Singh, both retired, politician Aamir Haider and foreign affairs specialist Shuvkamal Datta. It was moderated by Anant Tyagi.

In the opening remarks, Bakshi advocated a more proactive policy by the military.

“Pakistan knows where it stands. It knows America can’t abandon it fully while it has strong support from China. The Indian Home Ministry has also told forces that we will not strike first, and they know it, too. Israel has advised India to go for preemptive strikes, but the opposition will not let the government do so. Pakistan knows all of this and takes advantage of it. Our policy should, therefore, be more proactive. We have all kinds of arms, medium and short range artillery, long range artillery, attack helicopter, you name it; we have it. Jab tak aap sharam karte rahenge, kucch nahin haasil hoga (As long as you keep hesitating, nothing will be achieved),” he said.

However, Thakur said India has nothing to worry about. “We are prepared to give a fitting reply to every incursion carried out by Pakistan. Even in the ongoing fight, there have been heavy casualties on the Pakistani side,” he said.

Pakistan has been nurturing terrorists and the terrorists have been harming their own country, felt Haider. “They are shooting inside mosques, graveyards and mourning shrines in Pakistan. Not so in this country. We have to take risks at some point and fight back strongly,” he said.

Shivdaan Singh said India and Pakistan have been fighting a cold war since inception. “On January 12, Gen Bipin Rawat explained in his annual press conference that India and Pakistan has been fighting a cold war since 1947. Ceasefire violations are periodically done to push in terrorists. Whenever we find such vulnerable points in the border, we must proactively launch operations like the last one just over a week ago in which one Pakistani major, three Pakistani soldiers and five terrorists were killed. But we cannot go for open warfare,” he said.

“Pakistan is a rogue country. Anti-India rhetoric led to its origin. If your neighbour is a rogue, you have to either co-exist with it or wipe it out. I believe the time has now come for a final fight. Pakistan is moving towards its own destruction. All its provocations are actually a result of divisive forces within it,” Datta said.

-Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta

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