By Rajan Narayan

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi seems to be preparing for a surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Home Minister Amit Shah is on record that if the BJP gets more than 400 seats it will take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
When the erstwhile king of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, decided that Jammu & Kashmir would merge with India after the British left, Pakistan attacked India. Pakistan insisted that Kashmir which was a Muslim-majority province should go to Pakistan. Under international pressure, a ceasefire was ordered. The condition of the ceasefire was that both India and Pakistan would accept the Actual Line of Control. This resulted in Pakistan retaining control over a part of Kashmir which came to be known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
There have been several attempts in the past to recover the lost regions occupied by Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir. This were not pursued because any violation of the international agreement would invite hostile reactions from the United Kingdom and the United States. Both the US and the UK consider themselves bigger friends of Pakistan than of India.

SINCE Narendra Modi became the prime minister there has been increased talk of recovering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). The charge always have been that POK has been used to infiltrate ISI-trained terrorists into India to create trouble. Therae have been in fact a lot of terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir from POK. The most recent was an attack on an Air Force convoy in Kashmir, about a fortnight ago.
The fear is that if Narendra Modi feels that there is a danger of BJP not getting a majority in the parliamentary election, he will retaliate to any attack by Pakistan. Narendra Modi may be preparing for an air strike against POK. Given the fact that the international community including the United States is busy with the Ukraine war and the Israel/Hamas conflict, they may not be inclined to intervene to help Pakistan.
Narendra Modi could use the excuse of an any attack by Pakistan to declare an Indira Gandhi type Emergency in the country. It may be recalled that after being disqualified Indira Gandhi suspended the Constitution and declared an Emergency in 1974.
If Modi feels that if the still ongoing Lok Sabha parliamentary elections results coming in are going against a BJP super victory, he may suspend the election results and declare an Emergency. The excuse could be that Pakistan has launched a war against India. Retaliation would be a swift surgical strike in POK to reclaim “lost” Indian territory.

THE simulation of an attack by Naval aircraft on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 2am over capital city Panaji in Goa may be part of preparations for air strikes on Pakistan. Goa has the largest Naval air base in the country which is based at INS Hansa at port city Vasco da Gama. While the INS Hansa routinely stages defense exercises this is the first time it has simulated an attack on an urban area like Panaji.
Residents of Panaji, Miramar and Dona Paula saw very low-flying Indian naval air force fighter jets. Many residents also heard a very loud noise as if an air crash had occurred. Only after citizens exercised their anger on social media the Navy admitted to conducting a simulated jet attack over Panaji city. Reportedly several jets were involved in the attack exercise.
The presence of the Navy establishment at Vasco da Gama is a major threat to Goa’s civilian population. Late in the 90s there was a mid-air collision between two naval jets over the Zuari Agro factory in Vasco. One of the planes crashed very close to the naptha tank in the Zuari fertilizer complex. The other jet came down on the highway at Cortalim, close to present BITS Pilani. The Naval police did not allow the media including the “Heraldo” newspaper of which I was the editor those years to go anywhere near the crash site.
Due to the presence of the Naval air base the Dabolim airport is not allowed to be open for civilian aircraft between 6 am and 12 noon. This is why the new airport Mopa or Manohar International Airport came up in Mopa. Air traffic at the Dabolim airport is coming down no matter what the official denial.

IN any case the defense forces should not use Goa for simulating attacks or training flights. Goa is the most popular tourist destination in the world. The charter tourists if they hear about it may just stop coming if there are any major accidents involving naval or air-force planes.

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