Brigadier J S Cheema of the Army’s Baramulla-based 19th Infantry Division said attacking Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi was an option with the Indian Army.
Addressing a conference organized by the Army to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of 1965 war at Army’s strategic Srinagar-based 15 Corps headquarters, Brig Cheema said, attacking Pakistan Army headquarters was an option with the Indian Army.
“What are we waiting for? Another 26/11?” he said.
Brig Cheema said New Delhi should deal with Islamabad the way the United States dealt with Pakistan when it carried the Operation Neptune Spear in May 2011 that resulted in the death of the former Al-Qaeda chief, Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
He said Indian Army had already carried attacks inside another country – Myanmar - by attacking the camps of its rebel leaders and attacking Pakistan Army headquarters would not be something new.
Indian Army had “crossed over to Myanmar territory” and launched a massive search involving hundreds of Army men and helicopters to track down the rebels during the operation.
Brig Cheema also said that the Army needs to play a role in making the separatist leadership in Kashmir irrelevant.
“Issues of trivial nature are raked up and call for bands are being initiated,” he said. “Syed Ali Geelani, who has been a politician and contested polls in the past, is afraid of contesting polls now.”
Brig Cheema said if Army does not indulge in human rights violations, separatists would be marginalized.
Chalking out roles for the Army, he said, “Our job is to maintain the sanctity of the borders and help in maintaining peace in the hinterland.”
Major General Raj Shukla of the 19th Infantry Division, in his speech said, New Delhi need not worry about the growing Islamabad-Beijing military partnership.
“China has never come to the rescue of Pakistan in wars,” he said. “That kind of military assistance is not forthcoming although there is transfer of military technology and the economic corridor coming up between the two countries.”
He said as far as the India-Pakistan military relations were concerned, Indian Army was defensive in larger sense but at the operational and tactical level, there was an offensive intent.
Seconding Brig J S Cheema, he said if Pakistan initiates any conflict, Indian Army can escalate the conflict in a number of ways and attacking the Pakistan Army’s headquarter in Rawalpindi was an option.
He said Army’s counter-infiltration grid was better now but the recruitment of qualified youth by militant groups was a cause of concern.
Brig Shukla said the India-Pakistan conflict was not a case of a Hindu state of India versus a Muslim state of Pakistan as Muslim population in India was more than the Muslim population in Pakistan.
He said the 1965 war between India and Pakistan was a result of Pakistan’s obsession of Kashmir.
“Pakistan’s economy then was more vibrant than outs and they first tried negotiations which proved futile,” Brig Shukla said. “Then they thought force will work and went for a war.”
Brigadier Rajeev Puri, the Commander of Kigam Garrison of the Army, said there was no reality in Kashmiri youth joining Islamic State (IS).
“There are reports of only one Kashmiri having joined the IS,” he said. “Waving IS flag is something else and may be only about showing solidarity.” firstname.lastname@example.org