Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Govt weighs retaliatory options against Pakistan; India will respond at time, place of its choosing, says Army

Even as India on Monday weighed its options against Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack with Prime Minister Narendra Modi summoning a meeting of senior ministers and military and security advisers, the Army said it reserved the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing even as various options were discussed in a flurry of high-level meetings. 

 Determined to use a calibrated, multi-layered and strategic response to Uri attack, India is likely to expose Pakistan before the world community by furnishing it with actionable evidence regarding its sponsoring of terrorism and press for isolating the nation. 

 India is also planning to hand over to Pakistan evidence of the four terrorists using Pakistani-marked weapons, food, energy drinks and GPS trackers which they carried to enter Jammu and Kashmir from across the Line of Control. 

PM Modi chairs high-level meeting, briefs President 
 Indications in this regard came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a nearly two-hour meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NSA Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials to discuss India's response. 

 Top brass of the government is convinced that India has to launch a calibrated, multi-layered and strategic response and expose Pakistan in international forums like the UN, whose General Assembly is in session, official sources said, as per PTI. As part of the plans, the Director General of Military Operations will hand over all the evidence linking Pakistan's involvement in Uri attack to his Pakistani counterpart shortly. 

 The Defence Minister and the Army Chief, who visited Kashmir after the terror attack yesterday, also apprised the Prime Minister about their observations. The meeting also discussed PM Modi's proposed visit to Pakistan in November for a SAARC summit. 

The option of the Islamabad trip was left open as any decision would be taken on the basis of the bilateral situation then, the sources said, as per IANS. In the evening, PM Modi called on President Pranab Mukherjee and briefed him about the high-level meeting attended. 

India will respond at a time, place of its choosing: Army 
 On the other hand, the Army today said it reserves the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing even as various options were discussed in a flurry of high-level meetings. "The Indian Army has displayed considerable restraint while handling the terrorist situation both along the Line of Control and in hinterland. 

However, we have the desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate by us," Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh told reporters. "We reserve the right to respond to any act of the adversary at the time and place of our own choosing," he added. 

 The total recoveries from the four slain terrorists was four AK 47 rifles, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers, 39 Under Barrel Grenade Launcher grenades, five hand grenades, two radio sets, two GPSs, two map sheets, two matrix sheets, one mobile phone and a large number of food and medicine packets having Pakistani markings, he said. 

India diverting attention from Kashmir: Pakistan 
Meanwhile, Pakistan continued to be in a denial mode and today accused India of misleading the world opinion to cover up its 'reign of terror' in Kashmir by a spate of 'vitriolic' and 'unsubstantiated' statements following the terror attack in Uri. 

 "Pakistan has noted with serious concern the recent spate of vitriolic and unsubstantiated statements emanating from Indian civil and military leadership in the aftermath of yesterday's attack" in Uri, Sartaj Aziz, the advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, said. He said Pakistan categorically rejects the baseless and irresponsible accusations being levelled by senior officials in PM Modi's government. 

"It is a blatant attempt on India's part to deflect attention from the fast deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation" in Kashmir since the death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, Aziz added. He further said that the situation in Kashmir is not of Pakistan's making but a direct consequence of "illegal Indian occupation and a long history of atrocities that has resulted in over a 100 thousand deaths". 

 Reacting to Rajnath Singh's statement that Pakistan was a 'terrorist state' and should be isolated, Aziz said that it was deplorable that the Indian minister chose to blame Pakistan for the incident even prior to conducting proper investigation. In New Delhi, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters that India was not concerned about Pakistani denials. "Everything is in front of the people. We must not give much attention to Pakistan's reaction. We will take our steps carefully," Rijiju said

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