The Indian Army said Monday it reserves the right to respond to any cross-border terror attack at the time and place of its own choosing, a day after the Uri terror strike that was blamed on a Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
The army also said it has the capability to respond to any blatant acts of aggression and violence.
The remarks by Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, came amid calls from security experts and political leaders for military options like targeting terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) after the attack that left 18 soldiers dead and over two dozen injured.
“The Indian Army has displayed considerable restraint while handling the terrorist situation both along the Line of Control and in hinterland. However, we have the desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate by us,” Lt Gen Singh said in a statement to the media at the South Block.
“We reserve the right to respond to any act of the adversary at the time and place of our own choosing,” he added.
Lt Gen Singh’s remark was identical to the statement given by then Army chief Gen Bikram Singh in 2013 after Pakistan’s January 8 violation of the Line of Control (LoC) in which one Indian soldier was beheaded and the other had his throat slit. Following the Pathankot attack earlier this year, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made a similar statement.
Top army sources said the nature and timing of the action will not be revealed at the moment.
“There should be an element of surprise which is not there at the moment as Pakistan will be prepared for a retaliation. The Indian Army, of course, has its strategy in place and will do its job,” the sources said.
Action will be taken only after proper planning, coordination, exploring all options and taking everyone concerned into confidence, the sources said.
Move to isolate Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought a concerted global effort to diplomatically isolate Pakistan as an immediate step.
Modi, who chaired a meeting on Monday to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, sought clear evidence of Pakistan’s complicity to be presented to all major global fora, including the upcoming UN General Assembly.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag and other senior officials in the PMO, Defence Ministry and the Home Ministry.
At the meeting, the prime minister was also briefed about Uri attackers’ use of “incendiary” ammunition which is found only with army establishments and suggested Pakistan Army’s backing for the terrorists.
‘Backing terror new normal in Pakistan’
India on Monday said it firmly believes that a policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to its own people.
Making a statement during the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, India called upon the Council to urge Pakistan to put an end to cross-border infiltration, dismantle the terrorism infrastructure and stop acting as an center of terrorism.
“It is time that moral and material support provided by Pakistan to the perpetrators of this continuing heinous violence on the Indian soil should attract this Council’s attention,” it said.