India has more options than war to punish Pakistan: Former Army vice chief

New Delhi: India has more options than just war to deal with its unruly neighbour Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, former Vice Chief of Indian Army Lt. General Arvinder Singh Lamba said on Friday.

“War is the last resort. In fact, a war with Pakistan is not required. India has the capability to act in other ways and nothing stops India from taking an action at a time and place of its choosing,” Lt. Gen. Lamba told IANS.

He said the government has left it to the Army to choose its options and the Army “might be planning something to give a befitting reply”.

Lamba said India must build such pressure on Pakistan “through capability” which may “compel it to prevent or restrict” terrorism.

Contrary to the soaring public anger, the former Vice chief of the Army said that Pulwama incident could possibly not be a trigger for a fullfledged war with Pakistan as India realises it is part of an ongoing strategy of Pakistan.

“We know it is an ongoing strategy of perpetrating a proxy war by Pakistan and there is no doubt in our minds about it. Our security forces and agencies have countered them very effectively. But yes, some incidents may happen now and then,” he said.

He said that one of the options India has is to neutralise through covert operations the terrorists’ leadership acting out of Pakistani soil.

Asked who on our side could be blamed for the Pulwama incident, as some people are already calling it an intelligence failure, Lamba said that it was “very difficult to blame someone” though there could be some lapses.

“Our intelligence agencies are doing a great job. I think they are very coordinated and organised. But sometimes terrorists do get a chance. However, we must be very cautious with things such as the forces’ movement,” he said.