The biggest question after Pulwama terror attack was what would be India’s options. Given the past, the prevailing regional geopolitical situation and viable kinetic options, the Government of India appeared to be on a sticky wicket. Retaliation had to be credible, prompt and visible, thereby limiting its options further. Stopping the flow of waters to Pakistan was neither practical nor possible. Withdrawing the Most Favoured Nation status would hardly hurt Pakistan. Isolating Pakistan internationally would be easier said than done - with China’s close support and impending American drawdown in Afghanistan. There was thus a sense of triumphalism in Pakistan, when it rejected any involvement in the blast and as usual asked India for proof. India’s choice of target, means to strike and timing took Pakistan by surprise yet again, as India demonstrated its will to strike at the very root of terror. The international community stood by India, even as a tense standoff between the neighbours followed, including a befuddled response by PAF and resultant downing of an aircraft each.
Only time will stand testimony to India’s strong willed response, but the message has been delivered - do not take India’s restraint for granted; India ‘can’ and ‘will’ respond. As much has already been said and discussed over numerous forums, our Cover Story for this issue examines and analyses the core issues. Pakistan deep state’s obsession with Kashmir manifests itself in repeated mischiefs and terror plots. Gen Ata Hasnain has once again analysed the issues in detail and put across the perspective succinctly. Ajay Singh in his story on Pulwama has put the focus on ‘War of Perception’ and the way forward.
Second edition of the Indo Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) was organized by National Maritime Foundation and the Indian Navy on 5-6 March at New Delhi. DG NMF, Vice Admiral Chauhan has penned a detailed report including the takeaways from the symposium.
Post event report on Bangalore Air Show 2019 and a number of other features are contained in our March April issue.
India achieved another milestone when it shot down a low-earth orbit satellite in space on 27 Mar thus joining the select league of nations which have mastered
anti-satellite (ASAT) missile technology. A brief on Mission Shakti is being included as we go to press.
I wish the readers an enjoyable read.