Uri Attack, How Should India React

India has faced repeated attack by terrorists on its military installations and civilian population. In 2016 alone, not counting numerous small encounters, two major attacks have happened in airforce base at Pathankot and Army base at Uri. Apart from  casualty and loss of human lives, attacks unless responded to brings a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and emasculation among armed forces as well as among general population. 

Post every terror attack on India, a clamour for retribution against Pakistan emerges. Question is what can India do? What are our options? 

Most people are tired of diplomatese.  To get unequivocal world support, India has to ally with a power group or develop economic muscle.  When China flexes its economic muscle, world listens.  India is a defensive military power. Our economy is growing, yet we are a smaller economy compared to China, leave aside US. Despite so much noise about isolation of Pakistan post Uri attack, Russia is undertaking military exercise with Pakistani army.

 There are several potential military options that India can exercise, which may included :

  • surgical strike inside Pakistan, 
  • destroying terrorist camps,
  • covert operation to eliminate select targets,
  • full fledged war

None of the above, however, are tenable. Potential problems may include:

  • Enemy is likely to strike back;
  • Potential of nuclear escalation;
  • Governments development agenda likely go for a toss;
  • India may lose goodwill around world community, and pressure is likely to develop on India to pull back;
Many experts have argued that India cannot be subjected to nuclear blackmail. After taking so much beating, there is time when India must strike back. Still, in a nation of 1.2 billion people, one has to carefully consider pros and con of a military response, that too against a nuclear armed neighbour.

The following few things, however, India must do :

  • Fortify her borders and her defence installations against any sneak attack by suicidal fidayeen.  
  • India must employ technology to prevent infiltration inside the base and if possible border. Use drone, camera, laser and robot as first line of defence. Any breaking of circuit, and suspicious image should be greeted by armed escort. This way we may be able to minimise human casualty. 
  • Army bases should also make it mandatory, for anybody entering buffer zone, declare themselves or be at risk of being shot. Unless strict, disciplined and SOP driven action is taken, human casualty cannot be minimised. It must be remembered that during Mumbai attack, terrorists sailed all the way upto Mumbai without any challenge. Mumbai is the headquarter of western naval command. It seems we have not learnt much since Mumbai. Because in Pathankot and Uri bases, breach of security happened.
Bolstering internal security is not sexy and attractive. It is, however, essential. Only a healthy body can stave attack from external organisms. 

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