Shrishti S, III Year B.A. History.
Around 5:30 AM on 18 September 2016, 4 militants from Pakistan attacked the Indian Army brigade at Uri, in Jammu and Kashmir. The line of control was crossed when grenades were dropped on the administrative tent and in the subsequent fire that spread, 17 army officials were killed. While the militants were killed, a lot of soldiers and administrative staff were injured in the attacks.
An infuriated Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence took up investigations regarding the security situation near the Line of Control (LOC) area. Tensions rose in the atmosphere, with the Indian populace fighting and crying out for the unfortunate incident experienced by the army and the absence of an intention on the part of the Indian Government to retaliate against the offensive trail adopted by militants. Amidst delay in talks and condemnation expressed by the world on the ill-fated event, Indian soldiers waited for nothing short than a doomed contingency to befall them.
However, in the writer’s opinion, a progress was made by the government. From not playing sports with the neighbouring country, the Indian Government moved to not participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) meeting that was to be held in November in Islamabad. Of course, India also boycotted sporting events such as cricket and badminton but an attempt to successfully stall an all-governments meet was a novel attempt to resolve an issue that could have been handled by swift deliberation and action in the first place. An attempt, nothing else.
On 29 September 2016, 11 days after the attack, India witnessed the four lions of the Sarnath capital, the national emblem of the country, coming alive on an aggressive front. The Indian army successfully conduct surgical strikes as a pre-emptive measure to stop terrorist groups from staging further attacks in the Jammu and Kashmir region and other metros of various states. Indian Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh made several press statements after the attack, which became a controversial agenda as the details of the attacks were not disclosed and the entire operation was carried out in a hushed manner. A pleasant surprise awaited the Indian population, like Christmas gifts in the morning after Santa’s visit.
Pakistan, after literally facing the line of fire, dramatically proclaimed the surgical strike as ‘naked aggression’ on part of the Indian Government. The Government of Pakistan warned India to be prepared for repercussions. In other words, posterising ‘winter was coming’ in black and blue words. Thinking that words would bleed as much as Indian weapons did, Pakistani officials created an outburst by terming Indian military’s attacks as ‘hostile narratives’ and ‘vitriolic’.
Much like Jon Snow in the Battle of Bastards, in an unexpected turn of events, the media and denizens of this forever defensive country saw the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, saying that India would “never forget” Uri and would “leave no stone unturned to isolate Pakistan in the world”. As promised by the Minster of State for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, and former Army chief, Vijay Kumar Singh, India did give a befitting reply to the unfortunate incident that had impacted it greatly.
Victories come with a heavy price and while personal and governmental targets may have been attained, the military attacks on both sides proved to be costly for the already fragile relationship shared by countries that once coexisted in perfect harmony. While both countries prepare for the worst, only time will tell the impact of the strenuous Uri attack which shook not just India and Pakistan but the global community.