‘Surgical Strike’ can be India’s Choice but not a ‘Limited War’

23 Sep

 

By Sohail Parwaz

There is a quick development in Indo-Pak relations during last few days, especially after the Uri attack drama. The events need a serious analysis which I shall be writing soon. However what plans they have now is the point I dare discuss here. I wrote a predictive fiction “The Cornered Rogue” back in 2012. While analysing many events of the past I drew fictional events. Among those Kulbhushun Yadev’s arrest, Indian attempts for a surgical strike, Cold Start doctrine’s trial and many other are mentioned.

What the Indians have the plan for now, as I read it is to have a face saving in front of their public whom Modi promised to teach Pakistan a lesson. Unfortunately his forces commanders have bluntly warned him against any misadventure and not to take Pakistan lightly. I am quoting few excerpts from the chapter seven of my book where the readers may find the Indian Air Force having a temporary victory. However, it is for certain reasons; to qualify that the Indians were and they are aggressors, they raided the field hospitals in Muzaffarabad which were raised for the survivors of 2005 earthquake and the attack was unannounced. Rest assured that it was to make the things look natural. A good soldier never under estimates his rivals. When my book was published our pride JF-17 Thunder was under trial hence the Indians had a slight edge over the PAF, so keep that in mind but reading the complete novel will make the things clear.

Here I quote those interesting paragraphs:

“In the wee hours of a morning of March 2012 in Kashmir on Pakistan side, the dawn was still a little far off. Mostly the people in Pakistan, India and Kashmir on either side of the LOC (Line of Control) were still asleep or the Muslims mostly were preparing for their Fajr Namaz at that time. A flight each of SU-30s and Jaguars were preparing to take off from Srinagar airbase of the Western Air Command. Though the winters were gradually departing yet it was quite a chilly morning at a base situated 5458 feet ASL. The crew was silently but actively arming all the aircrafts. The two SU-30s, armed with BVR missiles were supposed to take off first and to act as the fighter sweeps. They were to enter the Pakistani airspace, challenge air defence elements of PAF19 if any and to shoot them down due to their sophisticated weaponry. The four Jaguars were to follow for the strike and finding no opposition, were to hit the target, alleged terrorists camp where according to the Indians the culprits of November 2008 Mumbai and February 2012 Delhi carnage were trained.

The aircrafts started roaring and soon they were airborne. Maintaining a strict radio silence as the sweep aircraft neared the LOC, their airborne intercept radars started painting the hostile birds on the other side of the LOC. Not that they were not expecting a welcome but this sudden switchover from the mock combats to the sphere of true combat backdrop made them sweat under their oxygen masks. The sweep leader as briefed designated the lead element of what appeared as a two ship CAP20 while his number two took the other one; they waited for the range to reduce so that they could unleash their deadly BVR missiles. At the same time, stress made their breathing heavy, as now they could feel the sweat trickling down their foreheads. They were praying for an end to this as soon as possible. The thought, that the weapon system akin to theirs was not possessed by the challengers thus lacking the first shoot capability, brought them little relief. The leader was thinking of launching the missiles before his targets could get the wind of their presence. He decided to initiate a defensive maneuver, known as ‘Beam and Drag. ‘This would complicate their task and who knows Pakistanis might turn the tables on them. As the leader was gripped by his thoughts he suddenly noticed that his formation was only a mile short of the gory LOC, for they were flying at250 feet above terrain to dodge the low air defence radars. He knew he would be in a position to launch his missiles shortly. Just then his worst fears turned out to be a reality as he saw the antagonists turning left and executing a beam. Damn! This meant that the Sukhois would have to ingress further inside hostile territory to claim the lives of their alert enemy, he thought to himself. Meanwhile the strike package entered from a southern entry point for their intended target.

The sweep leader instructed his number two to punch the extra fuel tanks, a certain liability in event of a dogfight. He knew that the surprise was ruined and now either they had to make a short work of the CAP and give an all clear signal to the waiting strike package or suffer the humiliation of being bounced off by an inferior gladiator. The leader instructed the formation to hit the after burners and attain maximum permissible speeds. With this done his plane started talking, gaining precious speed and the distance between the combaters reduced further. He now closed on to the adversaries, before he could launch his weapon he saw the enemy CAP executing a drag maneuver. The leader bellowed out of frustration. He knew he was up against a determined and skilful pair, any further pursuit would mean pushing his luck. He decided to let it go, called for his wingman to start an extrication maneuver. They turned hard right and hit the deck to press home while looking at his GPS which showed their position to be 25 miles inside hostile territory. As he was looking inside his cockpit for navigational cues he heard his wingman reporting a chasing rival bird. The leader looked for a threat in his RWR and was scared to see that radar was painting them from real close, hence they had no option except to order a defensive turn to pick tally with two F-7Ps of PAF in their hind quarters. He turned effortlessly as his Sukhoi had superior thrust to weight, allowed extreme maneuvering and launched his AA-11 archer IR missile against one of the two adversaries who looked to be in a menacing position to launch his inferior sidewinder missile which required the shooter to be in a tight cone behind enemy to score a kill. Soon he could witness his missile impacting the enemy and thanked his stars and the government for endowing him with a cut above technology to maintain supremacy in air. During the punch-up he lost sight of his number two, before he could call him he saw a blazing streak in the air and then heard his number two’s voice over radio confirming the dispatch of the second CAP aircraft. They took a sigh of relief for not only surviving a closes have but also achieving their primary task of facilitating the strike package. The Jaguars meanwhile reached their target, one by one expended their payload and turned back for their base. The result of Indian aircrafts ‘surgical strike ‘was an outcome of the itch they had since November 2008Mumbai attack and then February Massacre of 2012. The victory brought a faint smile on the leader’s face.

In no time the news about Indians surgical strike against a ‘Militants’ Camp’ near Muzaffarabad emerged as breaking news on dozens of news channels around the world while the Pakistani channels were showing the live coverage of the site, a totally destroyed set up in the environ of Muzaffarabad, the Pakistani part of Kashmir. Since Kashmir is a disputed land ever since 1948, crossing over to both parts by the Kashmiris is a very common practice, hence establishing of the camps by the freedom fighters on either side of the Line of Control was also not a strange practice. It was the Indian forces’ atrocities on their side of the Kashmir that compelled the militants to crossover to Pakistan side of Kashmir make the training camps and send the guerrillas across for countering the Indian military actions. A handsome number of people present in the camp were killed in this air raid while hundreds of them were wounded. The global analysts were asserting it as result of some sheer grudge nurturing in the Indian hearts since the Mumbai and Delhi episodes. General Muhammad Khalid met the Prime Minister immediately. It wasn’t a small event. The adventure could have escalated into a full fledge war as the strike by the Indian air force was sudden and reckless. Makhdoom talked to the Indian PM on hotline immediately after his meeting with the Army Chief. He gave his unambiguous and explicit mind to his counterpart. Just before noon the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad was also summoned by the foreign office and a strong worded formal protest was handed over to him. There was an abnormal diplomatic movement in Islamabad, where the seasoned diplomats and the ambassadors from the European Union and some Middle East countries were running to and fro to calm down the Pakistanis. The Americans and the Chinese were also quite disturbed over it. Since morning they were shuttling between the PM secretariat, GHQ and some embassies while in Delhi notable diplomatic activities were taking place. Amidst this, Americans were trying to appease the enraged Pakistanis while advising the Indians to refrain from provoking the former. On the other hand, Chinese in very plain and bitter words warned the Indians to face the consequences in case if they ever thought of any such adventure in future. Most of the Indians took it as a successful revenge; however a notable number of Indian intellectuals, columnists, analysts and representatives of the civil society were perturbed over the killing of innocents. They strongly condemned and criticised this indefensible surgical strike. They called this a mindless and inexcusable adventure! According to them the Indian high ups had asked for trouble.”

I may be sharing few other interesting chapters in the coming days corroborating to the developing situation in the Subcontinent. Although I have shared what the desperate Indians have in their minds to do but one shouldn’t forget what the Indian forces’ chiefs have suggested to their extremist prime minister. Their advice was, “This is not the Pakistan of 1971”. The Indians can be fool enough to go for some face saving surgical strikes but only if someone assures them that Pakistan will keep the war limited and unfortunately no one is ready to extend that surety to them because that would be purely Pakistan’s prerogative.

 

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