The Modi government is understood to have given the army, its diplomats and its spooks a cautious go-ahead for some kind of calibrated, but not brash, response to the Pakistan-backed terrorist attack in Uri, which killed 18 soldiers. Nothing wrong with this, but it will achieve little. None of this has worked in the past, and none of this will amount to much beyond political optics even now or in the future. This is because underlying all this is a reactive approach, and hence our actions can be easily anticipated by the world’s original Islamic State, aka Pakistan.
The truth is countering Pakistan’s death-by-a-thousand cuts terror policy needs a long-term strategy, not a tactical reaction to events. But despite have seen over three decades of Pakistani perfidies, we do not have a coherent strategy. If we had one, by now the costs of Uri could have been clear to Pakistan. That we are still debating what to do, with media speculating on options loudly, means Pakistan is ready to face whatever we throw at them. Whatever we do will thus be ineffective.
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