Mumbai, India’s financial capital, the city of dreams, the spirit of Mumbai was tested like never before when 10 Pakistani terrorists turned the world’s fourth largest city into a war zone holding major landmark of the city such as the iconic Taj hotel under siege for almost 72 hours killing 166 people and injuring over 100 on the fateful night of November 26,2008. Leaving a lasting impact on the face of Mumbai.
Mumbai 26/11 was a major intelligence failure as govt of the day was caught napping, then Home minister Shivraj Patil was busy changing dress for television appearance rather than mounting an effective response to the attack and rescue operation. 26/11 brutally exposed the unpreparedness of our internal security apparatus. Crucial hours were lost from the time the first attack occured at night to the time NSG finally reached Mumbai at dawn next day so much so NSG commandos were kept waiting at Delhi’s airport for over 6 hours as home minister himself wanted to accompany them to Mumbai. Their was huge miscordination between agencies while launching counter attack.
Post attack Congress led UPA government failed to build heavy diplomatic pressure on Pak and bring the preparators of 26/11 to justice.
The number of reasons are attributed for then UPA government’s inaction
1) Cold eye assessment by the Indian Service cheifs that they didn’t have the capability to launch a conventional warfare but can go for surgical strikes. But govt of the day was unwilling to take any counter offensive.
2) US mounted heavy pressure on UPA govt to not let the matter escalate and then PM Manmohan Singh sccummbed to US pressure.
3) Post attack India didn’t mount pressure on Pak and cross border trade and bus services continued to happen. Though India turned down any bilateral talk until the preparators of 26/11 are brought to justice.
4) Eight months after 26/11 on July 23, 2009 at Sharm -Al-Shaikh, PM Manmohan Singh infamously said “Pakistan was also a victim of terror and recognised that dialogue is the only way forward.” Making India look vulnerable and unwilling to take any action.
When Pakistan terrorists attacked Uri on September 18, 2016 where 18 soldiers were martyred, Pakistan had all the reasons to believe, based on past experiences and post Pathankot attack that India will not act in retaliation. But there was wide spread anger among Indians and PM Modi assuring the nation, launched multifora diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. India has been moving at several fronts against Pakistan as part of its response in the wake of Uri attack.
1) India reviewed the Indus Water Treaty to explore possible ways to use its share of water of river flowing into Pakistan. PM Modi said “blood and water can not flow simultaneously” as he chaired the review meeting for Indus Water Treaty. It was decided to suspend meeting of “Permanent Indus Comission”
2) India plan to restart Tulbul project which it had suspended after Pakistan had objected to it during Manmoham Singh government.
3) An inter ministerial task force is set up to look at India’s usage of the waters from western rivers like Jhelum, Chenab which allows India only 20% of water share.
4) PM Modi’s diplomatic effort paid huge dividends as world condemned Uri attack. While Russia cancelled joint military exercise with Pak in POK, UN secretary Ban Ki Moon refrained from mentioning Kashmir issue in his speech at UNGA despite repeated requests by Pakistan.
5) Two US lawmaker introduced a bill in US House of Congress to declare Pakistan a terrorist state.
6) Calling for global isolation of Pakistan, MEA Sushma Swaraj gave a stinging reply to Pak PM Nawaz Sharif’s rhetoric on Kashmir asking him to look at his own backyard in Balochistan. Sushma also said to Pak “LET ME STATE KASHMIR IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF INDIA AND IT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN SO. MY FIRM ADVICE TO PAKISTAN IS TO STOP DREAMING ABOUT KASHMIR”.
7) India is all set to review MFN state given to Pakistan.
8) Post Uri attack PM Modi announced that he will not attend SAARC summit in Islamabad, in a major embarrassment to Pakistan Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan Srilanka and Maldives has also pulled out as well increasingly isolating Pak in South Asia. This was a very strong message to Pakistan and unprecedented.
9) Changing the rules of the game, Modi govt displaying clear political will and intent, gave go ahead to army to carry out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in POK killing 40 terrorists and 9 Pak armymen. The surgical strike left Pak PM, Home Minister and NSA rattled and they dismissed it as fabrication.But their military and government gave differing statements.
Today Uri stands avenged, enemy humiliated and it is PM Modi who has shown strong political resolve sending a clear message to Pakistan. Had Manmohan Singh government shown the political will and retailiated post 26/11, Pakistan would not have dared to continue its proxy war against India and many precious lives could have been saved.
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