NEW DELHI, MAY 11
One of the Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s greatest successes was in handling cross-border terrorism and the finesse with which the Balakot aerial strike was conceived and implemented which “blew away the myth of Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail”, writes National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who was in the operational cockpit during both the surgical land strikes of 2016 and the Balakot aerial strikes 2019.
Doval went on to warn that while the first two counter strikes were land-based and aerial, “tomorrow, it may be different from both” if the adversary again causes disproportionate casualties. “Domain and level will not be inhibiting factors,” writes Doval in the chapter, “Tackling adversaries through strong and effective national security policies” in the book ‘[email protected]’ unveiled on Wednesday.
The lack of response to the numerous incidents of bombings in Indian cities during the UPA era had agitated Modi ever since he was Gujarat chief minister. The decision not to retaliate for the Mumbai attacks had earned India the “infamous nomenclature” of being a “soft state”. “The first-of-its-kind operations after Uri enhanced India’s global prestige. It caused panic in the adversary’s mind and momentarily disrupted terror training and planning of more attacks,” he said.
Revealing more details, Doval recalled that it was a simultaneous operation by multiple strike teams at four disparate locations. The novel planning for the strike generated chaos, panic and confusion by creating the “enemy is everywhere syndrome”. The then Pakistan Army leadership castigated its ground formations for failing to block even one strike team, despite having a large number of forward deployed troops. More importantly, it was a political call by the Prime Minister, “which meant that he was taking responsibility, not only for success, but also failure. This exhibited risk-taking at the highest level—a quality shown by very few”.
The PM’s striking characteristic has been his ability to approach national security matters from a long-term strategic perspective. He has an uncanny futuristic sense, and observes risks and opportunities that are often missed even by experts, affirms the NSA.
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