Diplomatic Army pressed into service

Envoys of 25 countries including US, China, Russia, UK and France briefed that surgical strike inside PoK was more a counter-terror operation than a military one

Published: 30th September 2016 07:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2016 07:59 AM   |  A+A-

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief Rajnath Singh come to attend an all-party meetin

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: It was an operation carried out by surgical precision by the Army, but the Ministry of External Affairs was kept in the loop. Immediately after the announcement of the “pre-emptory strikes” across the Line of Control, the diplomatic army of India swung into action and briefed 25 envoys of top countries, including the P-5 countries — the US, China, Russia, the UK and France — on the context of the strike.
The task at hand has been to succinctly put across India’s point of view to the countries, including those in the immediate neighborhood, to provide context to the strikes starting from the Uri attack and the continued violation of the ceasefire agreement. The envoys were informed that it was a “classic counter-terrorism operation more than a military one”.
Sources say Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar briefed the ambassadors of the countries at South Block. In the briefing he told them that “surgical strikes” on seven terror launchpads were carried out on late on Wednesday night and “significant casualties” were inflicted on the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate through the LoC to carry out terror attacks in India.
The ambassadors were also told that India had no intentions of launching further operations on these lines but made it clear that the armed forces wouldn’t allow terrorists to carry out any more attacks.
On Thursday morning the US National Security Advisor Susan E Rice telephoned his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval. In a statement the US National Security Council pokesperson Ned Price said, “Highlighting the danger that cross-border terrorism poses to the region, ambassador Rice reiterated our expectation that Pakistan take effective action to combat and de-legitimise UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Laskar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and their affiliates.”
The diplomatic-military synergy was at display on Thursday morning when Director General of Military Operation Lt Gen Ranbir Singh in an unprecedented joint media briefing with Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup announced the surgical strikes. Joint briefings were previously conducted during the Kargil War, the first televised conflict between Indian armed forces and Pakistan-backed infiltrators, but this has been the first instance of joint briefing of ministries.
The government also said the surgical strikes were a “necessary step” which had not been taken for many years. “The surgical strikes on terrorists has been welcomed across the country because it was a necessary step, which had not been taken for many years,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said. Javadekar said the SAARC Summit wouldn’t be held in Pakistan as several countries have supported India, while the issue of Indus waters was also being looked at. He also said that from the way Union minister Sushma Swaraj presented India’s viewpoint at the UN, Pakistan has been completely exposed.

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