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India may still strike Pakistan

A US intelligence report claims that India is fully prepared and await go ahead for unilateral precision strikes on Pakistan (File photo)

India may have ruled out the military option against Pakistan in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks but the international intelligence community continues to believe that strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and elsewhere could still happen.

Global intelligence service Stratfor, in its latest report, said, “Indian military operations against targets in Pakistan have in fact been prepared and await the signal to go forward.” It added, “These most likely would take the form of unilateral precision strikes inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir, along with special forces action on the ground in Pakistan proper.”

The private sector intelligence service said that unlike the massive movements of 2002 during Operation Parakram, India’s preparations this time were more under the radar and not visible to the world at large. Its only indication was the fact that the Border Security Force (BSF) has been put on high alert on the western sector as well as the eastern sector – this paramilitary force’s main mandate would be to prevent infiltration.

“Sources have indicated to Stratfor that New Delhi is going through the diplomatic motions in order to give Pakistan the opportunity to take care of the militant problem itself β€” but the Indians know that Islamabad has neither the will nor the capability to address their concerns,” Stratfor said.

Three weeks after the attacks, India has gone out of its way to reassure everyone that it is not thinking of military action on Pakistan. This was most recently conveyed by Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal to Awami National Party chief Afsandyar Wali Khan in Islamabad earlier this week. But India continues to tell all its international interlocutors that its patience will not last long, particularly if Islamabad cannot crack down on terrorism.

India’s actions thus far have been to build a kind of international consensus that the attacks were sourced in Pakistan. It has led to a huge spurt in international pressure on Pakistan to “do more” to combat terrorism. Almost every member of the international community also believes that the next attack in India would see the gloves come off. But everybody knows that Pakistan’s civilian government is unable to take any steps to curb terrorists and the military establishment is unwilling to do so.

“From a strategic perspective, the Indian government can no more afford to accept the Mumbai attacks and move forward than the US government could have afforded to ignore the 9/11 attacks. New Delhi has little choice but to respond – regardless of which political party is in power – and because the perpetrators are linked to elements within the Pakistani state, the response must be directed against Pakistan. And if Islamabad will not cooperate in controlling the militants, India will have to take unilateral action,” Stratfor said.

It explained that India knew strikes in Pakistan would not eliminate the terrorist threat, “but that would not be the aim of any such operation”. It added, “Instead, India has to communicate firmly that it will no longer tolerate attacks from Pakistan-based militants – whether they are rogue or approved by the state. Failure to do so risks emboldening the Islamists and their enablers, as well as a domestic political backlash. The Indian government could not live with either of those outcomes.”

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December 20, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment