Army Strengthens Operational Readiness Along LoC


Jammu: The Army continues to steadily upgrade its “operational readiness” all along the 778-km Line of Control, with redeployment of troops and some “forward movement” of ammunition and fuel dumps, even as it “refines” a variety of contingency plans in conjunction with the IAF.

The Army has made a series of presentations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including one in its military operation directorate with detailed maps and sand-models on Tuesday night. “There have been other top-level meetings over the last two days, including with national security adviser Ajit Doval, to discuss the operational situation along the LoC as well as the military options available to turn the heat up on Pakistan,” said a source.

Though “retributive covert or overt strikes” on terror-training camps and other targets in Pakistan are on the table, sources said they will only be undertaken with “cold calculation” with clear objectives in mind if diplomatic measures do not get desired results.

“All military contingency plans have risks involved, and therefore have risk-mitigation measures factored in. But the government has to decide which plan should be rolled out, with what resources and what timelines,” said a source.

But an all-out war is clearly ruled out with no large-scale troop mobilization, akin to Operation Parakram in the aftermath of the Parliament attack in December 2001, being initiated as of now. With India “thickening” its operational posture along the LoC, Pakistan too has shored up its border defences, including reinforcing its artillery positions.

India’s options for “limited but punitive strikes” range from concentrated firepower assaults with 155mm artillery guns, Smerch rockets and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to “surgical air strikes” by fighter jets to take out known terror camps through precision-guided munitions.

“There is the option for cross-border raids, shallow ones by infantry ghatak platoons and deeper ones by Para-Special Forces,” said a source. The Army has already also moved two additional brigades into the south Kashmir and other areas to strengthen the counter-infiltration and counter-terrorism grids in the region, which has made more troops available for the LoC.