George Washington wrote in 1799 to John Trumbull: Not less difficult is it to make them believe, that offensive operation, often times, is the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence.
In NSA Ajit Doval’s words “Defence is when the aggressor decides the date, time and the theater of action and the defender neutralizes the offensive and defense is the only motive.”
There are only two outcomes of a Defensive setup:
- Defender successfully neutralises the invader on the whole, but there will be welts and injuries (Stale-mate)
- Provoker wins and the defender loses.
Offense is where the motive is to capture or take-over or achieve a defined tangible target after the degradation of the target’s capabilities and resources. Offensive Defense is where the time and theater of action is identified by the defender, where the motive is defense.
In line with India’s “offensive defense strategy” border security force “the first line of defense” launched “ Operation Arjun ” to counter intermittent firing and ceasefire violations from across the border in Jammu region.
Pakistani Rangers had been targeting BSF posts and Army Men and even civilians through snipers. Earlier last month Pakistani rangers targeted forward posts and sniped two BSF troopers – constable Brijendra Bahadur and constable K K Apparao on September 14 and August 25 respectively while they were on duty at the border
BSF, as a part of its offensive defense strategy, fired both direct retaliatory fire in flat and ballistic trajectory weapons principally targeting farms and residences of retired Pakistan army Personnel, ISI and Pakistan Rangers officers in retaliation. Their farms and residences have been made on land near the Indian border to succor their task of guiding infiltration and providing logistical help in anti-India operations.
As a result of Operation Arjun, Pakistani side sustained heavy damage of its properties and death of seven Pakistani Rangers.
After being pushed on the backfoot, Pakistan Rangers Punjab DG reached out to BSF director twice (on September 23 and then again on September 25) requesting to Stop Indian firing. The Notorious Pakistani Lt Col Irfan from the 12 Chenab Rangers known for his provocative actions was the principal topic of discussion between BSF Director K K Sharma and Maj Gen Azgar Naveed Hayat Khan.
The carnage unleashed by the Border Security Force’s (BSF) during Operation Arjun, stunned Pakistan Rangers and they immediately pleaded a sector commander level flag meeting. In the meeting held on 29th September 2017 at 1100 hours to 1245 hours in Suchetgarh area, the BSF delegation involving 17 officers was led by DIG BSF Jammu Sector P S Dhiman while the Pakistani Rangers’ delegation of 14 officers was headed by Sector Commander Chenab Rangers, Sialkot Brigadier Amjad Hussain.
Along with discussion on number of other issues associated with border management, BSF stalwartly protested the movement of armed intruders in purlieu of international boundary at night for attempting infiltration into India from Pakistani territory, supported by the Pakistani rangers.
The Pakistani Rangers guaranteed the BSF that they would undertake obligatory measures to maintain concord on the border with a request that BSF should also exercise restraint to the optimum in its counter measures so as to ensure that minimum loss of men is caused on Pakistani side. It was decided to re-energize instantaneous communication between field commanders, whenever required, to resolve the trivial matters.
The operation was quite similar to ‘Operation Rustam’ which was carried out by the BSF last year after shelling from Pakistan following the surgical strikes on September 19. It is to be noted that BSF sentinels the international border with Pakistan south of the Chenab while on the north, along the Line of Control (LoC), it’s Indian Army which guards the border.