NEW DELHI: As the government marks the second anniversary of the surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control, Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s comment fueled speculation about another army operation.
“Our neighbouring country Pakistan keeps fostering unrest. It doesn’t refrain from its nefarious activities. People often raise how they mistreat our Border Security Force jawans. You might have seen something… something has happened, I won’t say what. It has happened, it has gone alright. You can believe us, it has been alright – just two-three days ago. Some people know. And you will see ahead, what happens,” the Home Minister said cryptically at an event in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar today, but did not elaborate.
“I have told the Border Security Force, they are our neighbours, don’t fire the first bullet. But if they fire the first one, don’t count how many you fire back,” he added.
Earlier this week, Army General Bipin Rawat had said he believed it was time for another surgical strike. “I believe there is a need for one more action (surgical strike). But I would not want to disclose how we want to do it,” he had told India Today in an interview.
General Rawat had also said infiltration from across the LoC persisted despite the call for a ceasefire, and stressed that this cannot be allowed to continue and appropriate action has to be taken to deter terrorists from disrupting peace in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ties between India and Pakistan, strained since 2015, plunged to a new low last week.
The government called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, citing the killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps glorifying terrorist Burhan Wani, who was shot dead by security forces in 2016.
Just days before that, a Border Security Force jawan, Narendra Singh, was shot dead and mutilated near the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian troops crossed the Line of Control in September 2016 to take out terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, weeks after Pakistani terrorists attacked an army base in Uri in Kashmir in the deadliest attack on the military. 19 soldiers were killed.
This week, the Indian government has organised a three-day event called ‘Parakram Parv’ to celebrate the armed forces on the anniversary of the surgical strikes.
Opposition parties have accused the BJP of using the surgical strikes to score political points; the Congress says it is not the first operation of its kind.
BJP leaders including the Prime Minister have referred to the operation at political rallies, pitching it as proof of their decisive governance.