The Army was taken by surprise with a militant attack in the wee hours at Uri and the timing, well, managed to raise eyebrows as well as deep concerns.
It is not clear as to how the confidential information of presence of two battalions of the Army at the Uri army base was leaked out to militants without which the damage of such magnitude could not have been possible.
By now it is known through a zillion media reports that at the administrative base two battalions were present and they were to hand over and take over charge of their duties. This information, however, was confidential till yesterday and according to defence sources, the information could have been leaked from the are close to the camp.
It cannot be ruled out that the movement inside the camp could have been under close observation since carrying out such an attack was not possible without having the knowledge of the Army unit and presence of soldiers inside the camp.
The militants came planned and approached the camp from a hilltop with dense forest area and seemed to possess all information of the presence of soldiers inside the camp and maximum damage was inflicted even as the encounter finished within hours.
Seventeen Soldiers were killed in a cowardly attack while they were asleep and that is no joke. Leaking of such classified information on an Army Installation is an act of treason and needs probing.
The four fidayeen (suicide) attackers are the kind of militants who only move with the commitment to die and are not easy to neutralise.
Fidayeen Attacks, right from when they started in 1999, have standardly been carried out at predawn hours but strategies on how to foil such attacks start gathering dust as soon as the situation stops being alarming.
The security agencies in the last few days have repeatedly mentioned about infiltration. That Pakistan has been committing more support to Kashmiris in the already 2-month-long resistance against India has already been established. This attack was not unexpected by any means. Poonch had just happened last week and both Poonch and Uri are next to the lines that divide the nation.
Promises had been made aloud, of full preparation in place to face any eventuality. Those have been deflated and severe lapses have come out exposed in the intelligence network, counter-infiltration grid and the lack of response to the sudden assaults. Uri has been a traditional route of infiltrators since the late 80s. How did that information not help in being prepared?
Guaranteed that the soldiers were attacked while asleep in their tents but there are those who take shifts in keeping the hawk-eye. The lapse has cost us 17 lives.
The protesters in Kashmir, who had just begun to experience exhaustion, would now be emboldened. The stones will now have a newly added ferocity.
How will Delhi react? Will it be issuing of more statements? But that is normal!
Or will it choose to go for an offensive — diplomatic or otherwise? Our soldiers need a boost in morale and Delhi needs to be wise about that.