Enraged over the terror attack on an army battalion in Uri, former army officials on Sunday sought urgent action against Pakistan, including keeping the “military option open” to deal with terror from its soil.
“We must have our military option open, if required to strike at certain places,” Lt General (Retd) B S Jaswal said in New Delhi.
“Bring pickets, which have launch pad to the ground, raze them to the ground. The reason is that till the time it does not hurt Pakistan physically, they would not our decency,” Jaswal, who was General Officer Commanding-in chief (GOC-in-C) of the Northern Command, said.
“Pakistan keeps doing it (terror strikes) again and again knowing that we would not take any action,” Major (Retd) Gaurav Arya, who has expertise in Jammu and Kashmir security situation, said.
The problems in Kashmir are “systematically manufactured” at the General Head Quarters in Rawalpindi, he alleged, adding “We must take immediate action. Stop trade with Pakistan, downgrade (its) Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. The world must know we are serious.”
Uri attack: Timeline of major militant strikes against security forces in Jammu and Kashmir
Questioning the absence of two service chiefs at the meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to take stock of the situation after the attack, former army chief Gen Shankar Roy Chowdhury said these actions were coming from Pakistan.
“We have this meeting chaired by No 2 in the Government, that is the Home Minister, where the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) chief are present. Who is doing these actions (terror attacks)? It is coming from across the border, from Pakistan,” he said.
“Is the CRPF chief going to look at Pakistan? Where are the Chief of Army and Chief of Naval Staff? Why they were not available to give (advice on) strategic action to the Government,” he asked.
He said the attack was “a matter of serious concern for India and is a desperate attempt by Pakistan to ensure the current turmoil in Kashmir doesn’t end.”
“Pakistan, despite all the criticism and the problems its facing, is hell bent on encouraging terrorism inside Kashmir,” Gupta said.
Commenting on the attack, Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain said “preventing suicide attack is difficult, but damage control is always possible.”
In a series of tweets, the former GOC 15 and 21 Corps said such attacks were “a different type of warfare. Understand its nuances. (There is) No fool proof guarantee anywhere. The main danger is of suicide bombing not witnessed since 2004.”
Hasnain said “Be clear, warnings do not matter in this. A determined small group can get through. Never 100% proofing against it.”
In the same vein, Lt Gen (Retd) K J Singh, who retired in July as Western Army Commander, said “No defences are fool proof”, though we aim to make it so but the essence is reaction.