There has been a huge amount of chest thumping about the recent strikes by the Indian army on two rebel hideouts on Indo-Myanmar border. In what was popularly considered as a retaliatory attack by the Indian army against last week’s gruesome strike on army personnel in Manipur, the surgical elimination of rebel groups operating out of Myanmar surely deserves the accolades. However what I am not sure is whether we are celebrating too much too soon.
First of all let us understand that this was not a one off incident. It is part of a well thought out defence strategy devised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his able deputies like the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and most importantly the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. As was evident in last year’s retaliation by the BSF against the Pakistani firing on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, responding with double the power that completely took Pakistan by surprise. While per se it is a great strategy and looks at complete annihilation of the opponent, speaking too much about it in open might give an opportunity to the adversary to be better prepared.
Secondly given our long international border and the number of countries we share our borders with, we need customised solutions for tackling the unique challenges at our international border. For example, India has a significantly robust Military to Military cooperative pact with Myanmar. Many a times Myanmar’s army has entered Indian territory chasing their Araknese rebels and India has looked the other way and the same courtesy was accorded to India when it entered their territory to deal with this rebel group. However this kind of direct attack is unimaginable on our western borders while dealing with rebel groups like the Lashkar E Toiba which also has the support of Pakistani authorities. A more covert guerrilla action is what is required in that case.
Thirdly more than an act of vindication, the India strike was an effort to stave off the other attacks that these rebel groups were planning sitting in Myanmar. The need of the hour is surely a better and strong intelligence and ability to tackle potential threat elements with appropriate might like the way the Coast Guard chased and destroyed a Pakistani terror boat late last year. History bears testimony that we have paid very high price for treating potential terror threats with kid’s glove.
In conclusion I would say that along with all this proactive thinking, Indian army needs to brace itself up for stronger armaments to deal with opposition more effectively. Perhaps we can accord full marks to the Modi-Doval team for powering ahead innovation and initiatives at the Ordinance factory for better guns and more effective armoury . The Dhanush rifles are probably one of the best manifestations of this initiative.