Did UPA Govt Carry Out Three Surgical Strikes? Here Are Some Clues

Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said that between 2011 and 2014 three surgical strikes were carried out

3 min read
File photo Indian security along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo: Reuters)

As Pakistan goes global to deny surgical strikes by India and the latter countering the demand for proof, the Congress stepped in to say that it isn’t the first time the strikes were carried out.

On the question of Pakistan's denial on surgical strikes, Surjewala said: "There has never been a reason to raise a question or doubt the statements by DGMO on surgical strikes. The government needs to call the Pakistani bluff and false propaganda by using all information, evidence and instruments at their disposal."

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, while briefing media persons, said that under the UPA rule, the surgical strikes were carried out thrice. The then government, he said, did not make loud claims in the interest of national security.

We are proud that even in the past our forces have successfully conducted such surgical strikes on numerous occasions, particularly on 1 September 2011, 28 July 2013 and 14 January 2014, giving a befitting reply to the enemy. In its maturity, wisdom and in the interest of national security, the Congress Government avoided making loud claims for the effective response and action of the Indian Army. Not just the Congress government, the previous governments too had conducted surgical strikes.
Congress spokesperson Surjewala

Even though the strikes were not made public, a report in The Indian Express attempted to shed some light on the events that could have transpired around the alleged surgical strikes.

1 September, 2011

Between 30 August and 1 September in 2011, five Indian and three Pakistani soldiers were killed in a firing along the LoC in Kupawara district of Kashmir which resulted in each country blaming the other.

While the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, Major General Athar Abbas, also confirmed the incident to BBC Urdu, Indian Army Spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel JS Brar said that it was the Pakistani troops that fired on Indian check-posts.

About six months prior to that incident, ties between the two countries had mostly been peaceful with the then PM Manmohan Sigh inviting Pakistani PM Yousaf Raza Gilani to watch a cricket match in Mohali.

In May 2011, India released a list of 50 ‘Most Wanted Fugitives’ hiding in Pakistan that obviously listed Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed. But after two errors were pointed out in the list, the Pakistani interior ministry rejected the list altogether.

File photo of Indian security force along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo: Reuters)
File photo of Indian security force along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photo: Reuters)

28 July, 2013

On 27 July, Dawn published a report about the Indian troops provoking the Pakistani troops at Rawlakot’s Nezapir sector, in a firing across the LoC that left one Pakistani soldier dead, and another seriously injured.

The Pakistani foreign office strongly condemned the shooting, saying it was “unfortunate that such an incident should have taken place at a time when the two governments are making sincere efforts towards improving relations”. But the Indian Army blamed Pakistani troops for violating ceasefire.
The Indian Express Report

Later, on the night of 30 July 2013, four Pakistani men were reportedly killed near Katwar post in India. While India claimed the Pakistanis were “militants”, Pakistan said the men were “local civilians".

That led to the Pakistani Army’s Border Action team, crossing the LoC and ambushing an Indian Army patrol team, killing two soliders of the 13 Rajputana Rifles and injuring two others. The dead soldiers’ bodies were reportedly found decapitated and deeply mutilated.

All through 2013, diplomatic talks between the two countries remained stagnant due to the tense atmosphere the incident had created.

14 January 2014

On 13 January 2014, referring to reports of 10 Pakistani soldiers being killed by Indian army, the then Army Chief General Bikram Singh said that a fitting response has been given to the previous year’s cross-border raids by Pakistan

Asked what retaliatory action had been taken, the Army Chief said that soldiers “have reacted well as required” and that there is an endeavour “not to escalate the situation into operational or strategic arena”.

The Indian Express quoted Singh from 2014, as saying:

It depends, if rules are followed by our neighbours, we follow the rules. If rules are broken, then obviously we cannot stick to the rules. Even we are going to break the rules.

Three weeks before Singh’s statement, the Directors General of Military Operation had met at Wagah, 14 years after the Kargil war, with the Indian side telling Pakistan that 2013’s 195 ceasefire violations should not be repeated.

DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia and Pakistan’s Maj Gen Aamer Riaz also decided to hold two flag meetings between the Brigade Commanders on the LoC aimed at reducing cross border tensions.

(Source: IANS, The Indian Express)

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