What’s the meaning of a ‘Surgical Strike’?


Chandigarh: Indian Army conducted ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads at the LoC on Wednesday night, the DGMO said on Thursday in a press briefing.

Surgical strikes were based on specific intelligence input of terror groups ready to infiltrate into India and carry out terror attacks.

With the Pakistani military rejecting that the episode was a result of a “surgical strike”, the media in both countries is now hotly debating the terminology.

Lt Gen Bajwa, Director General of the Pakistani military’s media wing said that the notion of the deaths being a result of a surgical strike is a false propagation by India.

“How is it possible that the target of a ‘surgical strike’ has no idea it took place?” he said. “This was simply an episode of cross LoC fire that they [India] have been doing. Small arms and mortars were used in the fire, similar to what has been used before…we gave a befitting response.”

He added that India has been chanting the “surgical strike” mantra just for the ‘consumption’ of her citizens.

According to a Pakistani general a surgical strike is one that comes as a surprise and is conducted with surgical efficiency. It happens when an entity does the job and comes out. It is not messy. There is no collateral damage.

Referring to the incident today, Mr Chaudhry said, “What India has done today is an LoC violation. Not a surgical strike.”

However the Times of India uses the following terminology:

“For starters, it is not a war or a call for it. Surgical strikes are military operations undertaken by forces across the world to move on the offensive, hit enemy targets and installations, and return to primary positions – all with lightening speed and with the added precaution of suffering limited casualty.”

While the Pakistani military has rejected claims of such a strike and responded with firing, both the Indian military and media persist in reporting it as “surgical” action.

We will await further clarification from DGMO to know what really transpired.

:Inputs from Times of India, Indian Express, Dawn, NDTV