By A Special Correspondent
It is disgusting that figures of terrorists killed in the Balakot strikes are being bandied about indiscriminately by all and sundry from the ruling dispensation. Some say over 300 terrorists were killed while the authoritative Amit Shah put the count at over 250. Do we really need to know how many were killed? Doesn’t it suffice to say that acting on intelligence reports that there would be a large congregation of terrorists and commanders at the facility, India took the action and successfully razed the structure? Air Chief Marshall BS Dhanoa put things correctly when he said that it was not the IAF’s job to count casualties but to report that they had successfully hit the targets.
One knows that general elections are on the horizon and BJP stalwarts want to milk the strike for electoral gains, but why harp on something which can never be proved? There is no doubt that the NDA government has changed the narrative of the relationship between India and Pakistan. Previously, they fought the proxy war secure in the knowledge that India will never retaliate. Now they know that India has a new weapon – destroying terrorist facilities across the border without targeting civilians or military installations. They know that the cost of supporting and sheltering terror has gone up immensely. They also know that through its two surgical strikes, India has done two things – exposed the lie that there were no terror camps on Pakistani soil and clearly established its right to strike at terror targets even if they are in Pakistan.
If anything, the BJP stalwarts should take pride in this and highlight this fact in their speeches instead of counting bodies of slain terrorists. There is no doubt that a huge percentage of Indians felt defeated and frustrated by the regular and easy manner in which terrorists trained and supported by Pakistan could infiltrate the country and carry out big and damaging operations across the country. Most Indians wanted the government to respond beyond the usual charade of providing proof which Pakistan rejected or the diplomatic moves. Although they did not want war, most Indians sought a tactical military response. The surgical strikes gladdened the hearts of many. They admire the NDA for this. But overkill might make the ruling dispensation lose this goodwill.
Pic only for a representational purpose, not from Balakot