Did “Surgical strikes” help in controlling terrorism ? This is what the data tabled in parliament says.

In the early hours of 29 September 2016, the elite forces of Indian Army crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed a number of launch pads, killing a significant number of terrorists who were ready to infiltrate into India. Since the surgical strikes were conducted, critics were always questioning if the strikes helped in controlling infiltration or terror-related activities. The data tabled in the parliament by Ministry of Home Affairs (Home Ministry) will silence those who doubted if surgical strikes produced any long-term positive results. According to Home Ministry, the number of terror attacks and infiltration have steeply declined post- surgical strikes.

The quarter (3 months) before 29 September witnessed 110 terrorist attacks, in which 34 security personnel and 7 civilians were killed. However, the quarter after the surgical strikes witnessed 86 terror attacks, in which 19 security personnel were killed, a decline of almost 50%. Hansraj Ahir, the minister of state for home, also said that the number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan has sharply decreased post-surgical strikes. While there were 449 incidents of cease-fire violations at the Line of Control and International Border in 2016 (an average of 38 ceasefire violations per month), the number of such violations has decreased to 28 (till February) – an average of just 14 ceasefire violations per month.

The Surgical strikes were an act of extreme bravery and impeccable planning in which a number of launchpads were destroyed and a large number of terrorists were killed. These terrorists were ready to infiltrate into Jammu & Kashmir, and carry terror attacks. Apart from killing the terrorists, the strike also sent a strong message to Pakistan that any future terror attack originating from its soil will be met with even stronger response, something which has sent Pakistan on backfoot. Those who questioned the Surgical strikes, doubted it, mocked the army for their political gains or ego, they were politically defeated and this data tabled in Parliament is a further slap on their face.

Kshitij Mohan