13-12, 26-11…missed opportunities galore

Chavvani Lal, heads the Response Cell of India’s defense ministry. In this capacity, he is responsible for crafting India’s response to a terror attack schemed and executed by elements supported by India’s enemy nations. In an exclusive interview with Rajcreep, Chavvani describes his role and throws some light on India’s response strategy in the event of a terror attack..

RS: What exactly is your job profile?
CL: I head a cell within the defense ministry that oversees plans to discourage foreign nations from attacking India directly or through proxy means. By that I mean that it is my responsibility to prepare a strong response to plots hatched to harm our strategic or other resources in India or abroad. I have to ensure that such events are never repeated again and to teach the enemy nation a lesson they will never forget.

RS: So what is it that you do in office? Considering the fact that we have never heard of you or your ministry..
CL: Nothing much, me and my team constantly check our mails, are on chat 24X7 and also update our statues on facebook and twitter every 35 minutes.

RS: Why?
CL: Our cell was set up after Dec 13 attack on parliament. We were the ones who crafted Operation Parakram in the aftermath. The idea was to progressively build up forces, cross the international border and occupy some parts of Pakistan. The area under occupation would be increased after every attack that was planed and executed by Pakistani elements. Pakistan had to realize that it had to cut a cheque in terms of territory after every attack.

RS: But Parakram did fizz out after the initial brouhaha
CL: That was because the then government did not follow up with phase two. After mobilizing our forces we had to stay low for a while and then lauch a surgical lighting strike on the Paki forces across multiple ‘weak’ points on the International Border. The Air Force on a state of high alert had to prevent the operationalization of Paki nukes stationed across five areas inside Pakistan. To sum it up were to thrash Pakis after tying their hands. It was a well thought of plan, but as with everything else, the politicians withered away the advantage that we had so painstakingly built up. We never went beyond statements.

RS: You had another chance when 26-11 happened…
CL: Yes, we had a meeting on the night of 26 where we devised another strategy to teach Pakistan a lesson. We were to launch surgical air strikes inside paki territory within the next 6 hours with the use of maximum force including laser guided munitions. We had passed on maps of terror camps inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir including Skardu, Muzzafarabad and Gilgit. This was to be followed by a ground offensive across LoC to capture strategic positions on the Line. This way we would have regained some territory from Pakistan in Kashmir. We thought our moment had finally arrived.

RS: Then?
CL: After briefing many mandarins in the defense ministry who were impressed by the plan, we were asked to do a phase two covering the entire border with Pakistan. But days later, after some initial activity in the Srinagar and Uddhampur air bases, the government withdrew into a shell. It was a very very meek surrender executed to precision by the Indian government.

RS: You must have been really frustrated…
CL: Frustrated is not the word. I was heart broken. This was the second time the government had let us down. I couldn’t come to office for many days. I was scorned upon by many of my friends who knew about my work. They had removed me from their friends list on facebook…my kids were ostracized in their school by friends and teachers.

RS: Why?
CL: They thought that it was my team that had crafted the meek surrender essayed by the government. I went into depression…no one except my family believed me. Even our maid who had stayed with the family after Dec 13 stopped coming, blaming me for everything. There was palpable anger everywhere and I was made a target for no fault of mine. After 26-11 I asked my team to go slow and start looking for jobs elsewhere as Indian government didn’t have the guts to teach Pakistan a lesson…

RS: Whats next..
CL: I will resign soon..India doesn’t need such a cell. Our response to any attack is very simple..issue strong condemnation and then wait till the tempers cool down. Its all about creating a drama every time and fooling people.

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