Now Thrust, Now Parry

For five days after he returned from Nepal, India’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Sundarajan Padmanabhan had been meeting his principal staff officers at the army headquarters, New Delhi, to chalk out strategies India must employ in dealing with Pakistan in the light of the heightened tension and war hysteria following the May 14 massacre in Kaluchak. After intense deliberations, the conclusion the army top brass reached was that an all-out war would not achieve the immediate objective of curbing terrorism. At least, not yet.

Laying it out in clear terms, a senior serving general told Outlook: “The December-January mobilisation of the armed forces was the clearest signal to Pakistan that India meant business but once time went by, the effectiveness of the massive deployment wore off. After nearly six months of deployment, any tactical surprise we may have had was also lost. Therefore, we came to the view that a full-fledged war at the moment is out of question.”