Rajnath Singh, as Army Chief, planned surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan in 2000

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was the Army Chief in 2000, on Thursday admitted that he had planned surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to avenge the massacre of 35 Sikhs near Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on March 20, 2000. However, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) did not approve the plan.The revelation came during the launch of a book titled “Mission Victory: India’s Secret War Against Pakistan, 1999-2009”. The book, co-authored by journalist Nitin Gokhale and retired Army officer Mandeep Singh, narrates the story of India’s covert operations against Pakistan in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999.Speaking at the event, Singh said that he had proposed the plan to the CCS in the aftermath of the Anantnag massacre, which was carried out by terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror groups. The plan involved carrying out surgical strikes on terror camps in PoK, including the LeT’s camp at Muzaffarabad.Singh said that he had received intelligence that the LeT was planning to carry out more attacks in India, and he believed that surgical strikes were the best way to deter such attacks. However, the CCS did not approve the plan, and instead opted for a more diplomatic approach to dealing with Pakistan.Singh’s revelation has sparked a debate about whether India should have carried out surgical strikes against Pakistan in 2000. Some experts believe that such strikes could have prevented the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 and other subsequent terror attacks in India. Others argue that such strikes would have led to a full-scale war between India and Pakistan, and could have had disastrous consequences.The debate is likely to continue, but Singh’s revelation provides a new perspective on the events leading up to the Mumbai terror attacks. It also raises questions about the decision-making process within the CCS, and the role of the Prime Minister in shaping India’s response to terrorism..

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