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IndiaWounded Pakistan likely to respond with terror attack on high-profile targets

Wounded Pakistan likely to respond with terror attack on high-profile targets

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Pakistan is unlikely to let the Indian raid go unavenged, with a terrorist attack likely on a prominent target outside and as government forces are on high alert in the border state.

Pakistan is likely to respond with a terrorist attack deep inside India following this week's surgical strike across the Line of Control in PoK on jihadis preparing to infiltrate, according to a high-level assessment by the security establishment.

Tensions between the two neighbouring nations flared up after a deadly terror strike last month on an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri sector that killed 19 soldiers.

Officials at the apex of India's security architecture told that Pakistan is unlikely to let the Indian raid go unavenged, with a terrorist attack likely on a prominent target outside Jammu and Kashmir as government forces are on high alert in the border state.

“We expected that Pakistan would deny the Indian Army's surgical strike,” a senior government official told Mail Today. “Accepting it would mean that they would have had to retaliate militarily. The denial gives the Pakistani Army an opportunity to plan a proxy strike at a time of their choosing.”

AFTERMATH

In the aftermath of the Special Forces surgical strike, the Indian security apparatus has war-gamed multiple retaliatory measures that the Pakistani Army can take to exact retribution.

The Indian government is not being lulled by the deep denials coming from Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Six broad options have been identified and contingency measures are being put in place to deal with each of the possible scenarios.

“The surgical strike comes weeks ahead of the retirement of General Raheel Sharif,” the government official said. “His propaganda machine has been working overtime to build an image of Raheel as a superhero. He's now trapped by that image.”

Pakistan has denied that India carried out any strikes and says two of its soldiers were killed in cross-border shelling.

Giving his assessment of “the Sharif who matters in Pakistan”, the government official added, “Raheel Sharif is a professional solider with an acute sense of the military legacy of his family. He would not like to retire with a blot at the end of his distinguished career. He is likely to take a cold and calculated decision based on the kind of operation he feels can be pulled off.”

NEW CHAPTER

The Indian government feels that after the PoK raid on the night of September 28, a new chapter has started in the history of the Indian state.

“So far, India and Pakistan were caught in a predictable cycle. The Pakistani deep state would hurt India. And India would make some angry noises but do nothing,” said the official. “This surgical strike has induced an element of uncertainty in this matrix. The enemy now has to think about the consequences of his actions.”

minister Manohar Parrikar described Pakistan as an anaesthetised patient after a surgery and asserted that India loves peace and does not believe in unprovoked aggression but it won't take terror lying down.

“If you give us pain, then this country's forces, this country's people are capable of giving you the same pain),” he said to loud cheers from the crowd at an event in Uttarakhand. “The surgical strike gave our forces an idea of what they were capable of doing. Pakistan is bewildered following the strike, not quite knowing how to react.”

Security officials believe that India's strike is not a one-off affair or the end of a story, but the beginning of a new journey. The government official said no one can be certain how this chapter will end but he was confident that the new strategy would suit India's long-term interests.

The strategy behind adopting this new course of action, he said, is to attach costs to Pakistani perfidy and to make it unaffordable in the long run for the rogue neighbour to continue its policy of bleeding India by a thousand cuts.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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