New Delhi: In a recent development, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has issued a stern directive to Indian Army commanders, urging them to “expect the unexpected” in light of the October 7th incident involving Hamas in Israel. As part of the response to this event, India’s national security planners have been closely analyzing the terror strike and the Israeli Defense Forces’ ground offensive in the Gaza Strip,as reported by Hindustan Times.
The Indian Army has taken decisive action to bolster its capabilities in the face of potential asymmetric threats. This includes significant emergency purchases, totaling several thousand crores, in two phases. These purchases encompass a range of defense systems, including anti-drone technology, logistics Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), loiter ammunition, and ground sensors. These acquisitions are aligned with the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-Reliant India) initiative, aimed at safeguarding Indian borders and countering potential asymmetric strikes.
The recent Hamas terror strike in Gaza, coupled with rocket attacks on Israeli cities, has been a topic of critical discussion during the Army Commanders’ Conference. Key stakeholders, including the armed forces, intelligence agencies, and the Ministry of External Affairs, have been closely studying the ramifications of this outbreak of conflict and its potential impact on the Middle East region.
Concurrently, the Indian Navy has conducted thorough audits of vessels along the western coast to ensure they are adequately radio-tagged and has taken punitive measures against those lacking proper documentation. This proactive approach stems from concerns related to past incidents, such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, and aims to safeguard India’s 7,500-kilometer coastline, ensuring that such incidents are not repeated.
It's worth noting that this move comes in light of the previous targeting of the Chabad House at Nariman Point by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) jihadists, leading to the brutal massacre of six individuals. Despite the passage of fifteen years, no individuals affiliated with the LeT or the ISI have been brought to justice by Pakistan.
The broader assessment indicates that the Israeli-Hamas conflict may only conclude when the cadre of the Sunni Salafi group in Gaza is significantly weakened, and its leadership is neutralized on the strip. However, there remains a growing concern that Iran may be drawn into the conflict if Shia Hezbollah initiates a northern front against Tel Aviv. Such an escalation could have far-reaching consequences, potentially impacting the entire Middle East region.