Sunday, January 17, 2021

Indian All-Out Retaliation Against Pakistan Hindered By France and Russia?

Today, as the news of the martyrdom of five Indian soldiers including two senior officials splashed all over the media, netizens started demanding an immediate retaliation against Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists.  

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The demand of retaliation again Pakistan by both experts and netizens was somewhat akin to the 2019 Pulwama attacks when a suicide bomber rammed his car into the CRPF convoy, killing over 40 troopers. The Pulwama was one of the deadliest attacks on the Indian security forces in the Kashmir Valley.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier today, in Handwara, North Kashmir, 5 Indian Army personnel including a Colonel, Major, along with 2 army soldiers and a sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in an overnight encounter.

This is one of the biggest blows to the Indian Army especially to the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) who lost two very senior officers.

As netizens demand retaliation and Indian agencies seriously contemplating actions against Pakistan, experts talking to the EurAsian Times state that an all-out Indian response is being halted because of France and Russia.

Ever since the deadly Pulwama attack, New Delhi made it very clear to Islamabad that the Indian forces are ready to cross any boundary to hunt-down terrorists and is not bothered by the Pakistani nuclear bluff.

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The attack on Indian soil was condemned by all countries including China, Pakistan’s regional ally. What also became evident was India’s zero-tolerance policy on terrorism as New Delhi, despite losing a fighter jet, made it very clear that it will not back-down on hitting terror launch-pads anywhere on the planet.

France and Russia Hampering Indian Response?

How will India respond this time to the killing of five Indian security personnel in the volatile Kashmir Valley? Defence experts, in conversation with the EurAsian Times, believe that the delays in the procurement of Rafale jets from France and S-400 air defence system from Russia is seriously hampering an all-out strike on terror bases in Pakistan.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the first batch of Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force is likely to get delayed by around three months due to the Covid-19  pandemic, as France battles rising infections, deaths, and lockdowns.

India has signed a deal with France to acquire 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition with 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE) under a €7.87 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in September 2016.

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As per the agreement, deliveries begin 36 months from the signing of the contract and will be executed in 67 months. The IAF had resurrected the 17 Squadron ‘Golden arrows’ at Air Force station Ambala (near Pakistan) which will operate the first Rafale squadron.

Another big hindrance that is stopping the Modi-government from an all-out offensive against Pakistan is the Russian S-400 air defence systems.

The S-400 surface-to-air missile is easily considered the most advanced missile defence system on the planet today, far ahead of American equivalents. The S-400s have a strike range of 400km and a radar range of 600km.

Additionally, the S-400 has modular setup and high mobility, meaning it can be set up, fired and moved within minutes and can tract, detect and destroy any ariel targets within split seconds. India does have a deal in place with Moscow for $5B but New Delhi will not receive the advance weapons system till late 2021.

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If placed near the Pakistan border, India could almost control all of Pakistan airspace, experts claim. The S-400s are even considered a big threat to stealth F-35 & F-22 Raptors and Pakistani F-16s and JF-10s would have been sitting ducks for the Russian-origin missiles.

In the absence of the Russian and French origin weapons, experts state that Indian armed forces would have to continue punishing Pakistan-backed militants with precise, unrelenting cross border shellings on terror launch pads with the latest, state-of-art artillery guns while hunting down rats (militants) burrowed in the Kashmir Valley.

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