Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat on Monday said there was a need for another surgical strike against Pakistan but refused to give any details. The Army chief’s statement to India Today TV came ahead of the second anniversary of the “surgical strikes” against Pakistan and amid increased hostilities between the two countries.
On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes on terror launchpads” across the Line of Control to neutralise alleged infiltrators the previous night. Pakistan denied any such attacks and said India was deliberately using the term “surgical strikes” to describe existing “cross-border fire” operations for “media hype”. A surgical strike is a military attack aimed to harm only the intended target and ensure minimal collateral damage to general public infrastructure and utilities around it.
Rawat also criticised the Pakistani government’s hold over its military. “As long as the Pakistan government fails to control its Army and the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], the situation at the border will not improve,” Rawat said. “Targeting policemen shows the terrorists’ frustration.”
Last week, India called off a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that was to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Ministry of External Affairs cited the killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani, who was killed in 2016, for cancelling the meeting. The stamps were released in July before Imran Khan became prime minister.