The Indian army prepared for 15 months before carrying out a ‘surgical strike’ across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Kashmir, Times of India newspaper quoted a former defence minister as saying.
“We started preparations for the September 29  surgical strike on June 9 – exactly 15 months prior to the event. We started planning for any eventuality at least 15 months in advance,” Manohar Parrikar, who is now the chief minister of Goa state, claimed while speaking at an event on Friday.
Pakistan had dismissed India’s assertion that its elite forces crossed the LoC to carry out ‘surgical strikes’ against ‘militant sanctuaries’ in Azad Kashmir as ‘illusion’. The Pakistani military had also taken a group of journalists on a tour to the region where New Delhi claimed it had carried out a ‘surgical strike’.
The Indian military had said that the so-called surgical strike was a retributive response to a deadly militant attack on a military base in Uri, Indian Occupied Kashmir, in September 2016 that killed 18 soldiers.
Parrikar said an ‘insulting’ question by a television anchor after the 2015 anti-insurgency operation along the Myanmar border prompted him to plan the ‘surgical strike’ across the LoC.
Parrikar said when he found out about the attack on 6 Dogra Regiment in Manipur as well as the death of 18 army soldiers, he felt personally ‘insulted’.
“A small terrorist organisation like NSCN-K [National Socialist Council of Nagaland] killing so many Indian army soldiers was definitely an insult to me,” Parrikar said.
While fine points are still shrouded in secrecy, it is known that the army carried out a surgical strike on terrorist camps beyond the Indo-Myanmar border.
“Now the news leaked, but we didn’t leak it. But one question hurt me. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, being an ex-army man, was explaining about such operations and one of the news anchors asked him: ‘Would you have the courage and capability of doing the same on the western front?’” Parrikar said.
“After a successful surgical strike, this was another insult to me, which I listened to very intensely but decided to answer when the time comes,” he remarked.
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