The Army confirmed to political parties during a briefing to the defence standing committee that its units crossed the Line of Control over a “wide arc” and that the surgical strikes could be repeated if the ground situation warranted such a course of action.
In the light of the political row over “evidence” for the surgical strikes, it was significant that the events were formally confirmed to the committee – the first time the Army has briefed MPs after the Indian DGMO’s initial statement in public and at the all-party meeting.
Army vice-chief Lt Gen Bipin Rawat informed the panel that the commando action was based on specific inputs that terrorists were present at terror launch pads across the LoC and were intent on striking Indian targets in J&K.
The briefing on Friday lasting around 15 minutes, saw Lt Gen Rawat explain that though the Indian DGMO informed his Pakistani counterpart that the surgical strikes were a “one off” action, the future course depended on the security scenario that might unfold if Pakistan did not move to fulfil its promise not to let the territory under its control to be used by terrorists targeting India.
Lt Gen Rawat gave details of the entire operation, including damages inflicted on the terror camps as well as possible number of terrorists who had gathered across the LoC, emphasizing that all the Indian soldiers involved in the action returned safely .
He said the operation was carried out in self defense as the Army had vital and concrete inputs about the looming infiltration bid by terrorists from different locations and the threat they posed to Indian interests.
The committee members were told that action against terror outfits was being explored since the Pathankot attack at the beginning of the year. The Uri terror strike forced the armed forces to operationalise their plan and attack the terror launch pads.
Without divulging minute details, Lt Gen Rawat is learnt to have told committee members that the surgical strikes inflicted heavy losses on the terror camps as the entire infrastructure was demolished besides loss of lives.
“Vice chief of the Army informed the committee about the entire operation. However, there were no questions asked as most members were satisfied with the presentation,” committee chairman B C Khanduri said.
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