The Prime Minister's comments about a shift in paradigm vis-à-vis India's response to terror attacks abetted by Pakistan show a willingness to undertake counter-strikes across the LoC on terror factories. This has derived from recent events stemming from the Pulwama attack. How much India gained or lost in the exchanges is conjecture, but to be able to hit Balakot deep inside PoK is indicative of a new responsiveness. The events have to be assessed in the light of the fact that the international community also recognised India's right to such a response. However, we must also understand that there were serious security lapses, both in Uri where a major Indian Army camp seemed to have no security perimeter protection and in Pulwama when a rickety car could get near a CRPF convoy in a high-security zone.
Where the narration of events seemed to slip from the acceptable was the Home Minister's tantalising reference to a third surgical strike, obviously unpublicised and for which he wants the regime of the last five years to take credit. This is the kind of needless politicisation of counter-terror operations that should not be heard, more so within striking distance of the Lok Sabha polls. Far from appreciating the professionalism and bravery of our forces in crossing the sacrosanct LoC to snuff out terror launch pads, what such politicisation does is to diminish the cause the forces are fighting for. It would be ideal if it is recognised that what has taken place between Pulwama and now is over and the lessons learnt are best deployed in terms of watchfulness and defence preparedness.