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Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Modi Years – Bolstering National Security (Part 1)

For a nation surrounded by powerful, hostile and pernicious neighbours on two fronts, ensuring profound national security requires conscientious efforts. Our country belongs to a group of very few nations facing powerful vindictive forces established and operating to harm our national interests. We have several volatile geopolitical and strategic positions which demands greater sophisticated planning along with meticulous execution.

The nation of Bharat has one of world’s best national security architecture. It’s this system of defence experts, planners, architects, armed forces and spy agencies, which through effective and active cooperation, ensures safety of 1.3 billion people of Bharat. We have neighbours like Pakistan who endorses and functions on the policy of ‘bleeding Bharat with a thousand cuts’.

We are, perhaps, the biggest victim of state sponsored cross border terrorism in the world. The enemy live with the dream of Gazwa-e-Hind aimed at destroying our millennia old culture and tradition.

With such baleful and rancorous forces at our doorstep, the modernisation, revamping, bolstering and enhancing of the national security system to keep it compatible for modern challenges, is of the paramount significance. Narendra Modi led NDA government has done the most exceptional work in this field.

Modi had made national security, the biggest agenda of this election and underlined various stands and steps taken by the government in tackling challenges posed to the nation. People reinstated their faith in this government and one of primary reasons behind such huge mandate was this government’s strong hand stand against nation’s adversaries.

Here we will analyse how this government performed better than precursory ones on national security front.

Uri terror attack and the aftermath response

On September 18, 2016, Pakistan sponsored fedayeen groups sent their 4 heavily armed and fully trained terrorist in Bharatiya Army’s camp at Uri in Baramulla district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 4 armed terrorists at around 5:30 AM in the morning attacked the army camp, causing tragic veergati of 19 Bharatiya Army soldiers. The attack came after Gurdaspur and Pathankot terror attacks carried out few days before Uri attack.

The specifically targeted dastardly terror attack by vindictive rancorous forces on Bharatiya security personnel, fuelled the entire nation with anger and nationalism. Revenge was the biggest demand of the common man. The attack was on similar lines of previous terror attacks based on hatred for Bharatiya community and the attack again reaffirmed in the minds of general hoi-polloi that terrorism posed the most hostile danger to the society.

The attack was no different from the previous ones, but the difference, this time, lied in the Bharatiya response. Under new leadership with firm political willpower, Bharatiya Army went ahead to carry out sophisticated and conscientious surgical strike across the Line of Control in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir on 29th September, 2016. Army, terming it a preemptive surgical strikes, completely decimated terror launch pads in the PoK.

This was the first time the country had responded such firmly with strong hand approach towards terrorism. While the Army was same, Pakistan was same, terrorist organisations were same, the only difference was in political establishment.

Under Modi, the political establishment went ahead to avenge lives of armed forces personnel. The government stood on top of the hill and dwarfed all previous governments in avenging soldier’s lives, isolating Pakistan and tackling terror outfits after a terror attack. The media reports estimated 35 to 70 terrorists being killed in the Army strikes. Entire world was with Bharat after the attack, that reinstalled Modi as a capable statesman in the minds of Bharatiya people.

Surgical strike is still fondly remembered by all Bharatiya peoples as an act of Army’s valour coupled with strong political will and exceptional planning-execution by the entire national security establishment. Surgical strike sent a loud and clear message to the world, especially to the terrorist hegemonic state of Pakistan, that the nation of Bharat had changed and it does not endorses the precursory lukewarm approach of dealing with terrorism.  

Balakot Air Strikes

Bharatiya Army suffered another major horrendous fedayeen attack by Pakistan sponsored, trained and armed terrorist on 14th of February this year in Pulwama, Kashmir. The terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar was a local of Kashmir, who was provided training in Pakistani terror camps. This was the most horrific terror attack on security forces in almost three decades, causing more than 40 soldier lives. The attack was heinous involving use of 350 kg IED explosives and local SUV car. Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed the responsibility of the attack issuing a pre-recorded video of the suicide bomber.

In response to the terror attack and in consent of reports indicating chances of another Pulwama like attack, the Bharatiya Air Force carried out extremely precise and successful air strikes deep into the heart of Pakistan mainland – Balakot, in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 26th February. This was the first time Air Force jets crossed LoC since 1971 war and it was a humongous move.

The ‘preemptive strike’ was an extremely sophisticated as it required the formation of 12 Mirage 2000 jets armed with laser guided SPICE 2000 bombs, Popeye precise guided munitions, 4 IAF Sukhoi Su-30 Mki aircrafts armed with R-77 missiles, Netra & Phalcon airborne early warning and control aircraft, IAI Heron UAV and Ilyushin II-78 Air refuelling aircraft.

The attack was carried out at three terror pads namely Balakot (24 km from Muzaffarabad) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 3:45 am to 3:53 am where joint training camps of JeM, LeT and HM were hit. Muzaffarabad in PoK was also hit from 3:48 am to 3:55 am and targets were destroyed at Chakoti in PoK from 3:58 am to 4:04 am. The brilliant operation lasted for around 21 minutes.

The operation made sound re-assertion that Bharat was no longer going to tolerate the intolerable heinous crimes against its national interests. Balakot air strike reflected the mindset of Bharat, that any misadventure against the nation from adversaries must be dealt in strongest and hardest way. Bharat again, through air strikes, made it limpid and crystalline about its intentions to snuff out terror groups and apologists.

The Abhinandan Saga

After Air Force’s brilliant air raids into the mainland Pakistan, the tensions rose even higher. Pakistan was bamboozled, perplexed and rattled at Bharat’s strong hand response. International community polarised itself in acknowledging Bharat’s right to action against terrorism and many of them urged Pakistan to stop its terror safe haven activities.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, domestic anger against Pak Army was increasing over their utter failure. Pakistanis had found themselves in labyrinthine situation after the  wanton air raids. Amidst intense pressure, Pakistan’s loony establishment tried to reach out to United Nations but the tag of terror nation gunged on their forehead, repulsed any chances of international support, even from their traditional entourages like China.

Next day, Pakistan Air Force sent a formation of around 24 best aircrafts, including F-16s and JF-17s in response to Bharatiya air raids. The plan was to hit Air Force headquarters across the LoC. Bharatiya Air Force dispatched its package formation of vintage MiG 21 Bisons, Mirage 2000s and Sukhoi Su-30s to confront the incoming adversary.

All the PAF aircrafts never dared to cross LoC except for 4 F-16s who were trying to enter Bharatiya territory and also fired AMRAAM missiles at our side. They were confronted by IAF’s vintage cold war era MiG 21 Bison. One MiG 21 flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman locked itself into direct air-to-air dog fight with one PAF’s F-16.

Abhinandan with his MiG 21 shot down PAF’s F-16s, inside PoK and in the meantime MiG 21 was also shot down by Pak forces. Abhinandan parachuted himself into PoK and was captured by Pak Army. In few minutes of air skirmishes he made history by becoming the first person to have shot down an advanced Lockheed Martin F-16 with a vintage old MiG 21. After he was captured in PoK, he was beaten up by locals and they were trying to humiliate him with mockery, but the Bharatiya pilot stood firm with utmost professionalism.

Since, he got captured, Bharat’s brilliant backdrop diplomacy jumped into the game. Bharat, in active consultation with major countries, started building pressure on Pakistan. Their labyrinthine situation got even worse and the military was popped up with the dilemma of Abhinandan.  

Pakistan, under intense international pressure and Bharatiya threat, submitted to our demand and returned Wing Commander Abhinandan the other day. Bharat made it clear that it was not the old Bharat who would submit to enemy’s demands. Bharat, standing firm and fierce, forced Pakistan to release Abhinandan and save themselves from escalation in conflict.

The whole dramatic Abhinandan episode, a mini saga as I call it, made a strong and all powerful image of Bharat in the eyes of the international community and most importantly in the eyes of Bharatiya hoi-polloi also.

Designation of Masood Azhar as UN Global Terrorist

Masood Azhar the radical and extremely dangerous Pakistani terrorist and his terror outfit group Jaish-e-Mohammad, has carried out several terror attacks on the peaceful land of Bharat. Ever since he was released, under unlikely conditions, in 1997 Kandahar IC 814 Hijacking, Maulana Masood Azhar has been involved in heinous terror attacks against Bharat.

From 2001 Parliament attack, involvement in Pathankot terror attack to planning and executing Pulwama terror attack, Azhar was at the centre of all these activities. Despite being a world known terrorist, Masood Azhar was not designated as a UN global terrorist. China blocked Bharat, France and US’s several bid to designate Azhar UN global terrorist under section 1267.

In March, China blocked a fresh proposal by US, France and UK and backed by Russia to designate Azhar as global terrorist citing technical grounds. Later in the year, a fresh proposal was bought in by same 3 nations and backed by Russia, China this time did not block the proposal and designated Masood Azhar as global terrorist.

Designation as UN global terrorist under section 1267 puts ban on designated terrorist’s travel, freezes their financial assets and ban on selling arms embargo to them. This was a huge diplomatic victory for Bharat. Despite not being there in the UN permanent council, Bharat achieved its goal through brilliant active and cooperative diplomacy.

Modi led government has shown utmost strength and vigor in tackling Bharat’s adversaries. Wanton anti-Bharat forces have been made to submit in line with Bharat’s national interest. Pakistan and China both got checkmated in the mighty game of diplomacy due to Bharatiya government’s firm unhindered stand in fulfilling nation’s expectations.

All this Uri surgical strike, Balakot Air strikes, Abhinandan saga and designation of Azhar as global terrorist reflected growing and glowing Bharat’s incredible power. As the economy grows and the military gets stronger, Bharat’s claim for global leadership seems more and more realistic. Bharat, with time, is making its sabres more lethal and is consistently parrying away anti-national forces.

(Featured image source)

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Yogendra Thakur
Yogendra Thakur
A student and two time state topper in Astrophysics and Art of Lecturing. Primary focus areas are Indology and Economics.


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