Pushing boundaries: on Balakot air strikes

 

 

Pushing boundaries: on Balakot air strikes

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Pulwama attack 2019
Balakot Air Strikes
The air strikes have delivered a clear, robust message; the follow-up must be restrained
The Indian Air Force’s strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot delivers a robust(मजबूत ) but calibrated(अंशांकित /जांचना) message. The latter is manifest(प्रकट/ज़ाहिर) in New Delhi’s diplomatic(कूटनीतिक ) utterances(बोल/उक्ति). While the strikes(हमले/प्रहार) followed the Pulwama attack by a couple of weeks, Foreign Secretary(विदेश सचिव) Vijay Gokhale referred(भेजा) to the action(कार्रवाई ) as a “non-military pre-emptive strike”. The phrase(वाक्यांश ) indicates(संकेत करना/प्रकाशित करना) the action was based(आधार ) on an assessment of an imminent(निकटस्थ) threat(खतरा /धमकी), and had ensured(सुनिश्चित ) that Pakistan’s military personnel and infrastructure(बुनियादी ढांचे) were not targeted, and civilian casualties(हताहत ) were actively avoided. In effect, New Delhi’s line is that the operation was an intelligence-driven(खुफिया संचालित) counter-terror strike rather(बजाय) than escalatory military aggression(आक्रमण). The government said all other options had been exhausted(शक्तिहीन/थका) in making Islamabad keep its commitments since 2004 on curbing(अंकुश लगाना) the activities(गतिविधियों ) of groups like the JeM. There is no denying(नकारना/अस्वीकार करना) that the decision to send Mirage jets across the Line of Control (LoC) to fire missiles 70 km inside(अंदर ) Pakistan represents(प्रतिनिधित्व ) a major shift. During(दौरान) the Kargil war in 1999, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had drawn a red line over the IAF crossing the LoC, to avoid international(अंतर्राष्ट्रीय ) recrimination(अभियोग/इलज़ाम). This strike was carried out in Pakistani territory(क्षेत्र ), not in Pakistan-occupied(पाकिस्तान के कब्जे वाला) Kashmir, the theatre for retaliatory((प्रतिशोध/मुंहतोड़) action in the past. It is still to be determined(दृढ़ निश्चयी) how far the JeM has been set back, but the strikes mark a new chapter with New Delhi’s willingness(इच्छा/सम्मति) to push the war against(खिलाफ) terror into Pakistan territory. The government has judged, perhaps(शायद/मुमकिन ) correctly, that global opinion(राय ) has shifted and there is little tolerance(सहनशीलता/सहयता) today for terror groups that continue to find shelter(आश्रय) on Pakistan soil(धरती). Significantly, with the exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(इस्लामी/सहयोग ), there has been no global criticism(आलोचना) of India’s statement on the strikes, and most have just counselled restraint to both countries.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for a joint session(संयुक्त सत्र) of Parliament and for its diplomats to raise the matter at international fora(अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मंचों). He has convened(बुलाई/संयोजित) a meeting of the National Command Authority that oversees(देखरेख ) Pakistan’s nuclear policy. However, Pakistan’s options(विकल्प ) are limited(सीमित ) . It could continue to deny that the Indian strike caused(वजह/पहुंचाना) any damage(नुकसान) on the ground, and obviate(छुटकारा पाना/दूर रहना) the need for retaliatory strikes(जवाबी हमला); or it could escalate(बढ़ाएँ) the situation(स्थिति ) with a military response. It could also make a break from its past, and begin to shut down the terror camps on its soil, which would win friends internationally(अंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर ) and ensure peace in the region(क्षेत्र ). The Modi government would do well to continue the restrained(संयम/किया ) approach(दृष्टिकोण ) it has adopted after the latest operation, and avoid the triumphalism that clouded the ‘surgical strikes’ of September 2016. With a response to Pulwama duly executed, it must reach out to residents of J&K who have borne the brunt(खामियाजा भुगतना पड़ा) of the jingoism unleashed(बड़बोलापन) after Pulwama. In the long term, building strong counter-terror defences, partnering with its own citizens to gather(इकट्ठा ) intelligence, and creating deterrents(निवारक बनाना) will be key.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

 

1. utterances(बोल/उक्ति)
Synonyms: assertion, pronouncement, announcement, articulation, asseveration
Antonyms: listening, question, quiet, request, silence

2. based(आधार )
Synonyms: established, occupying, placed, planted, positioned

3. curbing(अंकुश लगाना)
Synonyms: constrain, contain, control, hamper, hinder
Antonyms: advance, aid, allow, assist, encourag

4. recrimination(अभियोग/इलज़ाम).
Synonyms: criticism, accusation, animadversion, rraignment, attack
Antonyms: acquittal, approval, commendation, compliment, endorsement

5. exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद)
Synonyms: omission, barring, debarment, exclusion, expulsion
Antonyms: acceptance, allowance, ratification, admittal, admittance

6. tolerance(सहनशीलता/सहयता)
Synonyms: patience, resilience, resistance, strength, toughness
Antonyms: lethargy, weakness,bias, bigotry, disapproval

7. soil(धरती
Synonyms: clay, dust, ground, land, grime
Antonyms: sky

8. shelter(आश्रय)
Synonyms: apartment, asylum, condo, dwelling, haven
Antonyms: brightness, light

9. retaliatory((प्रतिशोध/मुंहतोड़)
Synonyms: disciplinary, penal, punishing, vindictive, punitory
Antonyms: beneficial, rewarding

10. exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद)
Synonyms: omission, barring, debarment, exclusion, expulsion
Antonyms: acceptance, allowance, ratification, admittal, admittance

11. obviate(छुटकारा पाना/दूर रहना)
Synonyms: counteract, forestall, preclude, anticipate, avert
Antonyms: support, aid, allow, assist, encourage

12. convened(बुलाई/संयोजित)
Synonyms: assemble, gather, open, summon, call
Antonyms: disperse, divide, scatter, separate, cancel

13. escalate(बढ़ाएँ)
Synonyms: assemble, gather, open, summon, call
Antonyms: disperse, divide, scatter, separate, cancel

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

The air strikes have delivered a clear, robust message; the follow-up must be restrained
The Indian Air Force’s strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot delivers a robust but calibrated message. The latter is manifest in New Delhi’s diplomatic utterances. While the strikes followed the Pulwama attack by a couple of weeks, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale referred to the action as a “non-military pre-emptive strike”. The phrase indicates the action was based on an assessment of an imminent threat, and had ensured that Pakistan’s military personnel and infrastructure were not targeted, and civilian casualties were actively avoided. In effect, New Delhi’s line is that the operation was an intelligence-driven counter-terror strike rather than escalatory military aggression. The government said all other options had been exhausted in making Islamabad keep its commitments since 2004 on curbing the activities of groups like the JeM. There is no denying that the decision to send Mirage jets across the Line of Control (LoC) to fire missiles 70 km inside Pakistan represents a major shift. During the Kargil war in 1999, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had drawn a red line over the IAF crossing the LoC, to avoid international recrimination. This strike was carried out in Pakistani territory, not in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the theatre for retaliatory action in the past. It is still to be determined how far the JeM has been set back, but the strikes mark a new chapter with New Delhi’s willingness to push the war against terror into Pakistan territory. The government has judged, perhaps correctly, that global opinion has shifted and there is little tolerance today for terror groups that continue to find shelter on Pakistan soil. Significantly, with the exception of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, there has been no global criticism of India’s statement on the strikes, and most have just counselled restraint to both countries.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for a joint session of Parliament and for its diplomats to raise the matter at international fora. He has convened a meeting of the National Command Authority that oversees Pakistan’s nuclear policy. However, Pakistan’s options are limited. It could continue to deny that the Indian strike caused any damage on the ground, and obviate the need for retaliatory strikes; or it could escalate the situation with a military response. It could also make a break from its past, and begin to shut down the terror camps on its soil, which would win friends internationally and ensure peace in the region. The Modi government would do well to continue the restrained approach it has adopted after the latest operation, and avoid the triumphalism that clouded the ‘surgical strikes’ of September 2016. With a response to Pulwama duly executed, it must reach out to residents of J&K who have borne the brunt of the jingoism unleashed after Pulwama. In the long term, building strong counter-terror defences, partnering with its own citizens to gather intelligence, and creating deterrents will be key.

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