The airstrikes Indian Air Force carried out on the three terror camps inside Pakistan (including Balakot) on February 26 is touted as Surgical Strike 2 for it was deployed with an undiluted element of surprise.
It is significant as analysts were debating after Pulwama terror attack on CRPF jawans on February 14 that it would be difficult to retaliate with a surgical strike this time around (unlike in the case of Uri in 2016) as Pakistan would be fully prepared and alert. But when it did happen it proved that Pakistan was caught off guard once again.
Here are the five factors that might have helped retain the element of surprise in Surgical Strike 2.
- India used at least five air bases to deploy fighter jets, early-warning aircraft and mid-air refuellers
- The fighters flew from their home base in Gwalior instead of a forward base.
- India had chosen its main target Balakot terror camps, deep inside Pakistani soil contrary to, perhaps, general expectation.
- Pakistan was expecting attacks, if any, on terror camps along the Line of Control and they were evacuated
- Perhaps, the buzz around the SC hearing of Article 35A might have created an impression that India would be busy dealing situation in Kashmir.