International Media Reacts To Indian ‘Surgical Strikes’ Claim

SRINAGAR: The Indian claims of cross-border ‘surgical strikes’ against Pakistan have hogged the headlines of many international newspapers over the past couple of days with many publications writing editorials and opinion pieces on it.

The Diplomat magazine has carried an article under the title: "Is India Capable of a Surgical Strike in Pakistan Controlled Kashmir?"

The article is written by Shawn Snow, who raised few questions about India's capability to conduct any surgical strike on Pakistan soil.

"A surgical strike operation by Indian forces begs the question of whether Indian forces have the capability to launch such a sophisticated and coordinated attack," Snow wrote in the magazine.

Giving information about the surgical strikes, it says, that the strikes can be conducted through airborne or artillery based precision guided strikes or ground force based assaults; both of which require sophisticated intelligence collection, platforms to conduct collections, and surveillance of target sites and objectives.

It also raised doubts on India's airborne, artillery based precision guided strikes, or ground force based assaults.

"India is still on the cusp of building a sophisticated and modernized asymmetrical capability to conduct counter-terror operations, while much of its forces are still organized and trained on Cold War models," the report said.

Commenting over the air defense system of Pakistan, the report said: "Furthermore, a cross border air raid by either heliborne assets or drones would still prove exceedingly difficult as Pakistan boasts an incredibly impressive air defense system."

"Pakistan controlled Kashmir is a high threat area for shoulder fired surface to air missiles, some of which have found their way into the hands of militant groups. Any air operation over the territory would be under threat from these weapon systems," the report observed.

Raising further doubts about the operation, it said India has released little detail on the operation; however if India in fact carried out a cross border surgical strike on terrorist facilities and not Pakistani military posts, it would be a paradigm shift in India’s war against terrorist and militant organizations.

"It would also boast the perception that India’s asymmetrical warfare capability is further along than many may perceive," it said.

Renowned US newspaper, The Washington Post in an article on Sunday published interviews of the locals along the Line of Control. Most of the villagers in the three areas along the LoC said that they did not witness any cross border troops movement or hear the sound of any helicopters.

The residents of Bhimber, Chamb and Sahmani said that heavy exchange of fire took place, although no one said that “they had seen or heard anything that supported India’s claim that it carried out cross-border strikes on several staging areas for militant groups that left “double digits” of militants dead,” according to the article.

A local in Bhimber talked to The New York Times’ representatives and denied Indian claims of surgical strikes. He said that Indian soldiers did not cross the LoC, adding that they do not abandon their posts.

According to a BBC Urdu article, when the locals residing merely two kilometer away from Indian checkposts were inquired about the strikes they said “What surgical strikes? That day there was just more than usual firing.”

Pakistan DG ISPR General Asim Saleem Bajwa stressed that while Pakistan has brought journalists to the LoC and is showing them the situation on ground, India is not allowing the same access to its own people which is suspicious.

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