India puts its foot down, no more 'terror in our soil'

PTI9_29_2016_000215A Tight security put in place at Raisina Hill during an all-party meeting in New Delhi on Thursday after Indian army's surgical strikes along the LoC | PTI

In a decisive blow to terror camps operating across the border, the Modi government on Thursday sent a stern message to Pakistan, with the Indian armed forces attacking seven terror camps, 2-3 kms from the LoC, killing several terrorists. In the process, it has been made clear to the Pakistan military and the civilian government that 'terror havens' on its soil will not be allowed to continue their nefarious designs in Indian territory. The forces who went into PoK to dismantle the terror camps and foil possible attacks in coming days are returning to the headquarters.

The attack comes days after terrorists from across the border in Pakistan entered Indian territory and launched an audacious strike on an army camp in Uri, killing 18 soldiers and wounding several others. The Home Minister, who congratulated the Indian army, did not waste any time in garnering political support for its covert strike. Before an all-party meet was convened, he spoke to senior political figures like Nitish Kumar, former PM Deve Gowda, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Singh Badal.

The assault on terror infrastructure has been coupled with India's claim and assertion that its forces entered the PoK which is a 'part of India' and technically not 'Pakistan territory'. This was explained by the home minister to the leaders of various political parties, sources said, adding that the government has been able to win support of the opposition for its retaliation .

Meanwhile, security sources have cautioned that any terror strike in the coming days could escalate tension further and security agencies have been directed to maintain tight vigil as they expect a strong retaliation by the ISI-backed terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba .

The border guarding forces are aware that heavy shelling can cause severe damage and casualties among the population living in border areas and state governments in Rajastan , Punjab and Gujarat, among others, have been asked to take precautionary measures .

In the diplomatic front , India has been able to muster support of the international community which is watching the developments carefully .

The fact that India has targeted only terrorist infrastructure and not civilians or Pakistan military targets across the LoC is seen as a step in the right direction .

Speaking to the media after the all party meet , Venkaiah Naidu said, “The Government wanted to inform about surgical ops conducted by Army to foil attempts of terrorist launching pads from Pakistan. DGMO has already provided the details . Five important places from Kupwara to Poonch along the border have been used by the terrorists to infiltrate and create havoc in JK and also other parts of the country. Army has conducted the surgical operations successfully. "

Earlier, the DGMO Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh said, "Significant casualties have been caused to terrorists and those trying to shield them. We don’t have a plan to further conduct such strikes. India has spoken to Pakistan."

Naidu further said that all political parties are happy with the Army taking this initiative because the 'other side has been testing our patience'.

“This coordinated effort was appreciated by one and all. Everyone acknowledges that Pakistan now understands that we have reached the limit of our tolerance. This step has been taken in the interest of national security and we remain united."

Sources in the BSF said that it has only restricted the movement of farmers who go across the border fence to observe the reaction of Pakistani forces today. There is no withdrawal of the retreat ceremony from the BSF side. But the Civil Administration is restricting the movement of civilians in these areas. Officials also said that there was no evacuation or army deployment on the International Border manned by the BSF.

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