Today evening, as I parked my car in front of gate no. 9 and walked into South Block (Indian Army Headquarters), I looked up at the grey-golden New Delhi sky. I tried hard to see if Pakistani nuclear warheads were slamming into the ground and if Chinese paratroopers were really landing atop Rashtrapati Bhawan. I saw neither. I shrugged my shoulders, smiled, and walked inside AHQ for that obligatory cup of black coffee (always without sugar), and the much-needed camaraderie. I found both. The Indian Army never disappoints.
Now that we have crossed the Rubicon, that much vaunted Line of Control, caused havoc, and come back without any casualties, it is time to put things in perspective. This is a time to celebrate, but it is also a time to be on top alert. Pakistan will hit back, as sure as night follows day. And we are ready.
To those who doubted our ability and resolve, you may want to reconsider your opinion about the Indian Army. I hope we have given you enough faith to go by. We are not Seal Team 6. We are Indian Army Special Forces. This is our backyard. We are better.
To those armchair strategists who cried hoarse and created absolute panic about Pakistani tactical nuclear warheads, China’s response, CPEC, Russia and everything between Mongolia and Disneyland, please take a deep breath and relax. There are no Pakistani induced mushroom clouds over Delhi. And there are no Chinese paratroopers. In fact, there is almost no reaction from China.
And finally, to those who believed in the Indian Army, my heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for believing in us. We have never let you down. Your faith means enough for us to die for. This is your army.
We went into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and created merry hell. This was a purely anti-terror operation. We tried to keep our focus and avoid collateral damage. The only Pakistan Army soldiers who were killed were those that came in the way. How many terrorists were killed? Your guess is as good as mine. The media may give you figures of 35-40 terrorists and 9 Pakistan Army regulars, but these are guesstimates. Our boys were busy killing, not counting.
For over a week, the targets were under surveillance of our intelligence agencies. Based on intelligence inputs, the SF teams and some elements of infantry (commando platoons, mostly Ghatak) rehearsed for this operation and then, at a moment of their choosing, infiltrated (parachuted) into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. They completed their mission and ex-filtrated back into our own area.
All praise to the Special Forces and other specialized elements that carried out this operation. It was textbook perfect. Such an operation requires, apart from meticulous planning and a very high level of training, nerves of steel and sinews of iron.
I am a soldier and totally apolitical, as all soldiers are. But credit must be given where it is due. Prime Minister Modi displayed remarkable courage. He first cornered Pakistan diplomatically and economically, and when the time was right, he ordered the Indian Army to smash them militarily. All bases covered. As the old saying goes “ek chaal, sheh aur maat”. Checkmate.
Pakistan Army denies that such an incident took place. Smart move. If you admit that it did, you will have a tough time explaining to a war-induced, hysterical populace, how this happened. And the next question will be – how do you plan to retaliate? For an institution that has gobbled up much of Pakistan’s scarce wealth in the last 70 years, such a situation has embarrassed them. Modi has not made Pakistan Army bleed as much as he has, in full public view, taken off their khaki trousers. The Pakistani Army is not dealing with hurt. It is dealing with shame.
Khwaja Asif, Pakistan’s motor mouth defence minister, who till yesterday was threatening nuclear war, is suddenly at a loss for words. Brought up to believe that Indians don’t have it in them, he seems a defeated man, shoulders drooping.
And ISPR, that media house of all media houses, and the official mouthpiece of the Pakistan Army is oddly silent. No more aggressive tweets from Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa.
There will be a grand meeting tomorrow at GHQ, Rawalpindi and all will be held to account in the court of Emperor Raheel Sharif. More F16s will land on highways and some more Pakistani politicians will threaten nuclear war. The passes will close in a few months, and before that, Jihadis must be pushed into India. This will be a long winter.
There are troubling times ahead. Pakistan will not lie down and die. It will retaliate. We are vigilant on the border. We will not let an Uri happen again.
To the families of the brave heart martyrs of Uri I say, “Sleep well tonight. We have avenged our brothers”.
Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran)