NEW DELHI: The Army is going to turn the heat on Pakistan+ along the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) with concentrated artillery barrages, sniping and other operations, even as a section of the Indian security establishment wants the government to also consider “limited but punitive cross-border strikes” to send an unequivocal message to Pakistan.
But while “enhanced military pressure” along the LoC is a tactical move to impose some costs on the Pakistan Army for continuing to aid and abet terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir, the government will have to take a considered decision on conventional cross-border strikes on terror-training camps because of possible escalation into a full-fledged conflict. Army battalions along the LoC as well as forward IAF airbases on the western front have in any case been put on “full alert” to take care of any contingency, government sources said.
Though “surgical strikes”, covert military operations or “hot pursuits” inside Pakistani territory may not be on the cards as yet, the Army can certainly “bleed” Pakistani troops without crossing the LoC.
Targeted artillery and heavy-mortar fire on Pakistan army posts and bunkers and intensive sniping to interfere with movement of their patrols are among the several tactical options used in the past. “Yes, there will be retaliation from the other side but it can be dealt with,” said a source.
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