Indian Army (Retd.)
Yesterday, eighteen of my brothers were martyred in a terror attack in Uri Sector. Eighteen homes were shattered. Children were orphaned. Their fathers will come home in a coffin, wrapped in the tri-color. eighteen homes will not celebrate Diwali this year.
Yes, we will grieve for our dead. We will take care of their families, for that is our way of life. But we will save our tears for later. Today, we will sit and plan retribution.
I have had enough of you peaceniks; enough of you people lighting candles at Wagah. The day you lose a brother, you will know my pain. I have lost 17 brothers. You cannot even imagine the extent of my pain and anger.
I write this to those who are in power today, those who decide what the Indian Army should or should not do.
We are constantly attacked – 1947, 1965, Kargil, 26/11, Parliament attacks, Pathankot terror attack and now in Uri. And yet, we are not permitted to hit back. This is humiliating and it shatters our morale.
We are soldiers. We kill and We die. That is our profession. But when we die, we die with honor. We die on our feet; we don’t live on our knees. I know, because it is written on the walls of the Officers Training Academy.
A soldier can bear pain, loss and sorrow with a shrug. But you are asking us to bear humiliation. This will break our spirit. Pakistani blood must flow. And it must flow like the blood on the streets of Dhaka on Eid.
This is not about strategic gain or that cat and mouse game that Pakistan thinks it is so adept at playing. This is about the soldier’s honor. Our funeral pyres burn as far as the eye can see. Our blood has colored this earth red. Today we ask this nation to restore the rights of the soldier.
It is our right to retaliate at a time and place of our choosing. It is our right to use disproportionate force. It is our right to kill the enemy.
You, our political masters, must realize that you are sitting on a time bomb. Mark my words very carefully. There will be immense pressure on the Commanding Officers of the units that were attacked. The pressure will be from the troops they command. The concept of “face” and honor is everything in the Indian Army. Thousands of armed men will be baying for blood. And they will not stop till their honor has been redeemed.
It could take a very small spark, a comment a month down the line when another unit’s soldier could say to a soldier of the unit that has suffered casualties, “They killed your brothers and you did nothing”. You will then have local commanders taking local decisions. A company commander may just decide that since the LoC is not clearly demarcated, he got lost and entered Pakistan “by mistake”. And then there will be blood. It has been done before. Those from the Naga Regiment will know what I am talking about; the Nagas know a thing or two about vengeance. If you kill one of theirs, they don’t wait for instructions from New Delhi.
Why was such a location chosen, which was astride a river and on the highway connecting Kashmir to Muzzafarabad? Why was it not a walled compound? There are many such questions that I have, but will not ask them on this forum. But this much I will say; someone has to be held accountable for the 17 precious lives lost.
We have several military options that can be used against Pakistan, and one of these must be used in the next 72 hours or before. In none of these actions is there a threat of nuclear response from Pakistan.
Option One will be to go in for massive artillery bombardment across the line of control using Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRL Pinaka), medium artillery and other guns. This will degrade and denude Pakistan’s military infrastructure and cause heavy loss of lives. Pakistan Army’s artillery is no match for our own and has no credible response to our bombardment. CB (counter bombardment) measures and capabilities of the Pakistan Army are well documented. However, loss of lives on our side cannot be ruled out.
Option Two could be to launch a Special Forces raid across the LoC. A team of one of the Para SF units may be tasked to go across the border for a HVT (high value target). This will include assassination of enemy commanders, destroying infrastructure and killing Pakistan Army personnel. Infiltration will not be difficult but exfiltration may be very complicated. We risk loss of lives.
Option Three may be a swift and devastating air attack on Pakistan Army infrastructure, deeper inside Pakistan. HQ 1 Corps in Mangla (Gilgit Baltistan) will be an excellent target. In this option, we will have to contend with Pakistani Air Defence, and loss of our pilot’s lives and a few aircraft.
Any option we choose, we stand to lose lives. But there is no going back now. We must break Pakistan’s spine. The honor of our country is at stake.
And the brave seventeen will not accept peace without honor.