Monday Oct 03, 2016
The Indian claims of cross-border ‘surgical strikes’ are being taken with a pinch of salt even by the international media.
Renowned US newspaper, The Washington Post in an article on Sunday published interviews of the locals along the Line of Control. Most of the villagers in the three areas along the LoC said that they did not witness any cross border troops movement or hear the sound of any helicopters.
The residents of Bhimber, Chamb and Sahmani said that heavy exchange of fire took place, although no one said that “they had seen or heard anything that supported India’s claim that it carried out cross-border strikes on several staging areas for militant groups that left “double digits” of militants dead,” according to the article.
Another well-reputed publication ‘The Diplomat’ in a piece titled ‘Is India Capable of a Surgical Strike in Pakistan Controlled Kashmir?’ raised some serious questions about Indian military's capabilities.
The article asks whether the Indian forces have the requisite capability for those much-hyped ‘surgical strikes’.
The piece takes a critical look into India’s defence system stating that most of the acquired warfare mechanisms and machinery are along the ‘Cold War’ lines.
It also blatantly states that most of the Indian machinery is in a ’training and testing’ or rather an ‘infancy’ phase.
The article lauds Pakistan’s superior air defense system and expresses doubts that how an attack by a combination of old or developing assets could go undetected.
“A cross border air raid by either heliborne assets or drones would still prove exceedingly difficult as Pakistan boasts an incredibly impressive air defense system,” the piece states.
A local in Bhimber talked to The New York Times’ representatives and denied Indian claims of surgical strikes. He said that Indian soldiers did not cross the LoC, adding that they do not abandon their posts.
According to a BBC Urdu article, when the locals residing merely two kilometer away from Indian checkposts were inquired about the strikes they said “What surgical strikes? That day there was just more than usual firing.”
It seems that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi under exceeding pressure following the Uri attacks, made a face-saving move, which lacks the substance to make it convincing and credible.
Furthermore, Indian Army’s muddled up and porous information also raised more doubts regarding the authenticity of such ‘strikes’.
Interestingly, Pakistan Army after firmly denying the claims of strikes also took independent journalists to the LoC at Baghsir, 20 kilometers from Bhimber to show the situation on ground.
DG ISPR General Asim Saleem Bajwa stressed that while Pakistan has brought journalists to the LoC and is showing them the situation on ground, India is not allowing the same access to its own people which is suspicious.