IAF jets must pound Pak base in,Skardu
Written by THE PIONEER   
Sunday, 11 July 1999

IAF jets must pound Pak base in,Skardu


 11 July 1999



All Hindus have been raped and all Sikhs have been killed.


This was the message that was sent by the Pakistani Area Commander to his Army chief after the ‘Battle of Skardu’ which the Indian Army lost in 1948.



Brigadier Thapa had held on to the Skardu sector for six months and single handedly kept the entire Pakistani army at bay, despite being ordered by General Thimaya to vacate the post.  It has since been established that had the post been vacated by Brigadier Thapa then, the Pakistani Army would have marched right up to Nogra Turtuk and even beyond.



Pakistanis would have dictated the ongoing Kaqrgil war with a great degree of success had Thimaya’s decision been implemented.


While Brigadier Thapa waved the nation from a blunder and earned a name for himself in the annuls of the Indian history, Indira Gandhi faulted by returning all the key positions won after the 1972 operations.  The Indian Government then could well have signed the agreement on its own terms but decided to do charity instead.


The agreement on LoC hen has but become a proverbial thorn and has since resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and troops, besides a colossal amount of expenditure year after year.


Located about 70 km from Kargil, Skardu is now a major base for the Pakistani Army and is the centre of tall the activities being conducted by Pakistan in the region.  It now has an airstrip, war rooms, modern communication facilities, ammunition depots and large number of barracks for the standing by seven Pakistani light infantries.  So confident are the Pakistanis of the Indian democratic system that they are fully assured that India would never allow its Army to overstep the LoC.


Pakistani Army chief General Musharraf visited Skardu in September 1998, and ordered import of huge quantity of snow boots and other related equipment, five months before Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore trip.


The Indian intelligence agencies knew about the unusual Pakistani procurement but decided to take it easy.  While our soldiers are suffering from snow-related problems, including frostbites, due to lack of adequate gears, Pakistanis are far better placed in the ensuing battle.  If it’s a sin to commit crime, it’s a bigger sin to tolerate it.  Just by pushing back the intruders from the Indian side of the LoC, the Government is not solving the problem.


Each Mujahideen, fighting for the Pakistani cause, is being paid Rs.10 lakh for his services, of which Rs.5 lakh is paid in advance.  Each Pakistani soldier is made to take an oath by the Holy Quran to avenge the loss of Bangladesh.


Through counter attacks, mainly through Mujahideen, Pakistanis are sending a clear message that they are not going to give up in a hurry.  Time and again, Pakistan has proved itself to be a rouge state.  And a rogue cannot be dealt with by a slap on the Knuckles.  It has to be crushed sin-a-die in order to ensure a longer lasting solution.


Fear of internalization of the Kashmir issue is now a thing of the past.  The world has seen through the Pakistani designs and has sent a clear message to Nawaz Sharif.  It is now for India to act with firmness and make Pakistan pay for the war crimes.  Even a smaller country like Israel would have taken a much serious step and sorted out the issue a long time ago.  Diplomacy is a language meant for the ivilized nations.  Countries like United States too, have always dealt rougue states with an extremely firm hand.  Indian Government by acting differently is sending confusing signals, especially after getting a worldwide support.


It’s time therefore that India too, paid back in the same coin.  There are hundreds of Indians who would be more than willing to fight for the liberation of PoK.  Attacking Skardu could also well be another trump card.  Once the nerve centre is destroyed its branches would automatically suffocate.  It’s one job that can be implemented to perfection by the Indian infantry.


Our Air Force is well prepared to strike.  All the Mirages are capable of delivering air to surface laser guided 1000 lbs bombs without coming even close to the Pakistani counter attack, as has been successfully done in the fight for regaining control of the Tiger Hill.  Demolition of Skardu itself could keep the Pakistan busy for another decade, in turn forcing peace in the region.


It’s for the Indian polity to take a decision.  Any delay would cost India dearly.  Threat of a nuclear strike is not on the Indian side alone.  And the Pakistanis know it too well.  It’s time India put its act together and put Pakistan in its place, for good.

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