The terror attack acknowledged by the Jaish-e -Mohammed which resulted in 44 CRPF troopers being killed has caused widespread anguish in India. Prime minister Modi has said that Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price for this act. He has promised the Indian people to revenge for the suicide bombing at Pulwama. The Hindustan Times has quoted defense experts who have said that India has multiple options to avenge the terror attack which India claims emanated from Pakistan. This includes using air power, precession air strikes. Surgical strike at key targets and other covert operations.

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Indian action

On the home front, the Indian government has announced a free hand for the security forces to combat the terror outfits in the valley and the security provided to the Hurriyat leaders has been withdrawn. In addition, the government has withdrawn the MFN status to Pakistan and tax on Pakistan goods exported to India hiked to 200 percent. A diplomatic offensive has been mounted to inform the entire world of the hand of Pakistan in fomenting terrorist activity.

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BBC has reported that India will ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan as it has "incontrovertible" evidence of its involvement.

The situation in Kashmir is tense, and passions in India are running high. The Modi government after making many bellicose statements will find it hard to backtrack, and in case no action is taken it will reflect badly on the BJP in the coming general election just two months away.

Limited war

Many defense experts feel that a limited war may be in the offing.

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Military

Lt. Gen. DS Hooda, who retired as Northern Army commander under whose aegis the 2016 surgical strikes were conducted, has said that the government would be under pressure to take action against Pakistan. He was of the view that “Not taking Military action is not an option."

Pakistan claim

Pakistan has denied any involvement and claimed the Jaish-e- Mohammed is banned in the country, but facts speak otherwise. The chief of the Jaish -e- Mohammed, Maulana Masood is free to move around Pakistan and is respected despite the International community including the USA, having designated him a wanted terrorist. This has been stalled in the UN by China aspiring to be the world's number one power and Pakistan's all-weather friend.

Future

The Indian military will have to think hard how to react militarily to Pakistan. The jingoist statements of Narendra Modi should have been followed by some action but precious time has been lost, and as per reports the Pakistan military has already depopulated the terrorist launch pads and camps. Thanks to the inaction by India the question has now become like a catch- 22 situations for India.

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