'Phones were kept at distance of 20 metres during discussions on surgical strikes': Manohar Parrikar recalls strategy

The strategy to execute surgical strikes were carried out with such secrecy that mobile phones were switched off and kept at a distance during the crucial meetings, Manohar Parrikar said.

IANS December 09, 2017 22:08:49 IST
'Phones were kept at distance of 20 metres during discussions on surgical strikes': Manohar Parrikar recalls strategy

Panaji: The strategy to execute surgical strikes were carried out with such secrecy that mobile phones were switched off and kept at a distance during the crucial meetings with senior military and defence ministry officials, former defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.

Participating at a literary event, Parrikar, now the Goa Chief Minister, also said that he was proud of the fact, that not many details about the surgical strikes had leaked, including facts like how senior officers were dispatched for foreign countries to conduct on-the-spot purchase of equipment required for the surgical strikes.

Phones were kept at distance of 20 metres during discussions on surgical strikes Manohar Parrikar recalls strategy

File image of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

"In fact, all the surgical strikes were planned with mobiles 20 metres away. Not only were they put off, but they were kept 20 metres away, so that nothing leaks. And I am very proud to say only one thing. Between the Uri terror attack and the actual surgical strike,  I must have had something like 18-19 meetings which included a number of army top brass and also the defence ministry (officials) right above joint secretary level officers. However, nothing leaked out," he said.

"Some of it has not come out even now. This includes flying of some of the officers to some foreign capitals to make arrangements. We had to send officers with authority to carry out the on-spot purchase as they call it," he said.

About his frame of mind during the planning and execution phase of the strikes, Parrikar said, that it was a period of continuous stress.

"In fact one of the continuous stress which I went through was keeping secrets. When you don't tell anyone, you tend to build up stress. Normally, stress is relieved by discussing issues with friends. But in defence, many times, we were not in a position to discuss any of the issues with anyone, whether it is the Myanmar surgical strikes or PoK (Pakistan-administered Kashmir) surgical strikes.

"I virtually didn't sleep, because the pressure was on me, if something were to go wrong. It is very easy to clap afterwards, very difficult for a person who takes a decision and cannot speak to anyone," he said.

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