Thursday, January 03, 2019

The current escalation along the LOC - some comments

I keep hearing about an escalation along the LoC last week. I am trying to figure out what led to this situation but I seem to end up clutching broken threads.

There is one story being put out by AKD friendly TV channels and RW social media. This story goes something like this -

1) There was a sniping attack on Indian Army positions in the southern side of the LoC and it became a big media talking point. And then there was an Indian Army riposte in the Leepa Valley where a brigadier of the Pakistan Army was injured and subsequently killed.

2) As a result of this death, the Pakistan Army launched a SSG led BAT attack on border posts in the Baramulla area on Dec 30th 2018. The attack was likely a lead to a repeat of the "Uri" attack and that was foiled.

3) This a "major disaster" averted thanks to timely action by security forces under leadership of Modiji and Super(Hanu)Man AKD.

As far as I can tell - this narrative has its roots in a conversation between Gen. Ata Hasnain and Gaurav Sawant where Gen. Hasnain claims that the Indian Army sniped at some PA brigade level officers in the Leepa Valley and then Gaurav claims that a brigadier was injured and eventually succumbed.

There is confusion in the narrative on the RW social media channels in India. The IT-Cell guys keep saying Neelum Valley but AFAIK no one referrers to the Leepa Valley as the "Neelum Valley". I have only seen the "Neelum Valley" term used to address the MSR (so called Neelum Valley Road) running north of Athmuqam to Kel (and thence to 80 Inf Bde Hq at Minimarg near Burzil La).

I cannot be certain that the RW social media channels are actually talking about the same incident but if they are then it looks like they are confusing Leepa Valley with Neelum Valley.

This brings me to another problem with this narrative.

Any PA flag officer who dies rates an official funeral and a prayer meeting (Fateha) is held a few days after officer has passed. This meeting is usually attended by the COAS and it is covered by the press.

In the decades past the PA may have been embarrassed about admitting to losses but over the last decade - the Pakistan Army has lost several high ranking people including Generals in the war against the TTP and Baloch separatists. They now use public disclosure of these losses to generate public awareness of the risks that Army people take to keep Pakistan safe.

And that is where my problem is.

I cannot find any news of a brigadier's funeral. There is nothing in the news of COAS visits which are profiled on the ISPR site.

I feel if the narrative above is correct - then the PA would have gone to town to show how the IA had viciously sniped and killed its flag officer. They haven't done that. The only news item I could find was in August 2018 where they reported a teenage boy was killed.

Additionally some RW posters around going around claiming that IA has carried out some kind of salami slicing operation opposite Mandhole.

Again it is very easy to understand why this might happen in Mandhole - the LoC runs along a ridge line and it should be possible to position a reverse slope defense there - but we can't verify any of this.

The Indian RW is very adept at turning routine military activities into political marketing for its brand. I caution against accepting anything you hear from these people until there is reliable verification of the information.


At 9:01 AM, Blogger quantum chaos said...

Weaponising routine military operations for political gains isn’t all that RW wallahs are doing.
I am surprised and shocked to see RWers openly abusing army, especially officer class as bunch of boozards and
Wife swappers. Abusing decorated Generals as well. Something has gone deeply wrong in RW camp.

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