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More Surgical Strikes Across The Border If Pakistan's Response Isn't 'Appropriate', Says Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat

Veiled threat?

13/01/2017 4:56 PM IST | Updated 13/01/2017 7:16 PM IST
IANS
Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat.(File Photo: IANS)

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday said India is waiting and watching Pakistan's response. "if Pakistan's response isn't appropriate," then there could be more surgical strikes, the General said. General Rawat was talking to reporters for the first time after taking over as the Chief of Army Staff.

Special Forces of the Indian Army last September crossed the Line of Control and simultaneously struck at 7 terrorist launch pads located in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (Pok). The arc of the surgical operations spread over an area of 250 Km.

India subsequently claimed responsibility for carrying out the strikes. Although Pakistan denied the strikes, by owing up to the strikes, India introduced an element "uncertainty" in its Pakistan policy.

The General admitted to lapses that led to attacks in Uri, Nagrota and Akhnoor. At least 29 people including 26 soldiers were killed in the three attacks. A public outrage followed the Uri attack forcing the Indian Government to carry out the surgical strikes.

Elaborating on the lapses the Chief said formations commanders have been removed for lapses. "In the army it is disgraceful to be removed from command," he said.

"We have offered peace and tranquility on the borders, and it is up-to Pakistan to respond," the General said The Chief also said that Pakistan's Director General of Military Operations had sought for de-escalation along the border.

And in a shift from the past, General Rawat referring to repeated strikes on military installations said the army shouldn't get into a "fort mentality." "We need more technology to protect our bases," the General said.

Giving an assessment of Pakistan's response to the surgical strikes, the General said ceasefire violations along the border and International Border had come down. "Infiltration, however, continues," the General said.

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