What If Surgical Strikes Never Happened, Asks International Media

International media doesn’t seem convinced about India’s announcement that it carried out surgical strikes in PoK.

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

It looks like not everyone believes the Indian Army’s 29 September announcement that it carried out surgical strikes on terrorist camps across the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The operations, which came in the wake of the Uri terror attack that led to the death of 20 soldiers, were “carried out based on specific and credible information,” according to Director General Military Operations Lt General Ranbir Singh. The international media, however, is considering the possibility that these operations never took place.

The strikes received accolades in India as they came amidst criticism that the Indian government does not adequately respond to cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations. But Pakistan clearly denied that the strikes took place at all. The Pakistani military said that India had violated the ceasefire by shelling and firing small arms across the LoC and that the country had adequately retaliated to the violation.

Kashmiris Don’t Support India’s Claim: Washington Post

Despite saying that they were woken by heavy firing, residents of the Bhimber, Chamb and Sahmani districts along the LoC say they didn’t hear or see anything that supports India’s claim of having crossed over to conduct strikes, according to a report in The Washington Post.

In Sahmani, a verdant district along the Line of Control with Army posts every few hundred yards, residents said they had a close view of activities along the border and described seeing the sky light up with shelling above a mountain ridge where Pakistani troops are stationed. 
If anyone is moving on the mountain, we can see them easily from here,” said villager Faheem Ahmed, 48. “There was no activity of enemy troops on the mountain, which is the only way they can come.”

The Diplomat Asks Is India Capable of a Surgical Strike in PoK?

Mentioning that India has not provided too many details about the surgical strikes, The Diplomat poses questions about whether India has the capability to launch an attack of this nature.

India is still on the cusp of building a sophisticated and modernised asymmetrical capability to conduct counter-terror operations, while much of its forces are still organised and trained on Cold War models.

Listing out India’s military capacity and the kind of vehicles and hardware at its disposal, the Diplomat seems unconvinced of the claims made by the Indian Army.

…Much of India’s asymmetrical warfare capability is still being developed and tested. The examples above are by no means an exhaustive list but it certainly details a capacity not fully developed by Indian forces.

They are Lying: Kashmiri Man to The New York Times

Malik Rustam, a Kashmiri man living in PoK, told The New York Times that Indian troops never left their posts and, thus, did not cross the LoC. The Indian military posts are within 500 yards of his village of Mandhole and are visible.

On Saturday, Mr. Rustam, 22, pointed in that direction and said the Indian troops never left their posts. “They are lying,” he said. “They never crossed the LoC.” A group of villagers standing nearby nodded in agreement.

The Quint also spoke to some Kashmiris, who said they did not believe the claims made by the Indian Army.

Pakistan’s military has been flatly denying all claims of surgical strikes and organised a trip to the LoC for journalists where the Maj Gen Asim Salim Bajwa, Pakistan’s military spokesman, made an address.

Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief and mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks has also jumped into the fray, calling the surgical strikes nothing more than a farce.

On Sunday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to queries on the doubts raised by Pakistan and on the release of the footage of the operation, said:

Just wait and watch.
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