As a defiant Pakistan carries on with its sabre-rattling in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, the three services chiefs met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to brief him on the security scenario.
This was the third meeting between the service chiefs and the prime minister after 26/11. A PMO spokesperson said the chiefs briefed the PM on the “prevailing security situation”. Later in the day, the Cabinet Committee on Security also took stock of the situation across the border.
Last week Stratfor, a US-based think-tank, had said in a report that India might consider precision strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir if Islamabad did not crack down on terror groups operating from its soil.
Pakistani media have reported that Islamabad is moving troops to the Line of Control and the army has cancelled leave for armed forces personnel. There have been reports that the Pakistan Air Force is in a state of high alert and its fighters are conducting sorties over important cities, fearing an Indian assault.
But an Indian Army source said, “Pakistan is whipping up war hysteria to deflect attention from terrorism. We have not mobilised troops but are war-ready at all times.” Air vice-marshal (retired) Kapil Kak, a defence analyst, said, “26/11 was not a strike against Mumbai or India, it was an attack on the world. If the world does not deliver in getting Pakistan to act against terror groups, I’m afraid we’ll have to do something on our own.”
Stratfor said unlike the massive troop mobilisation after the Parliament attack in 2002, this time, “India’s war preparations are clouded in secrecy.”
The BSF views all activity on the other side of the border as “reactive” and “prompted by the pronouncements made here both by politicians and the hype on television channels”. “In any situation where there is some difference or there are some differences between neighbouring countries, this would take place,” said a senior BSF official. “It would only attract attention if they didn’t adopt an active defence posture. There’s no cause for alarm. There’s no development within two or three kilometres of the border.”