The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and its professional head is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general. The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, which were merged into the national army after independence. The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, to defend the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security within its borders. The army has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with China.
The army has taken up the responsibility of providing internal security, especially against insurgencies in Kashmir and Northeast India. Currently, the army is also looking at enhancing its Special Forces capabilities. With India’s increasing international role, and the requirement to protect its interests in far-off countries becomes important, the Indian Army and Indian Navy are jointly planning to set up a marine brigade.
On 14 February 2019, a convoy of 78 vehicles transporting more than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel from Jammu to Srinagar was travelling on National Highway 44. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. It is the deadliest terror attack on India’s state security personnel in Kashmir since 1989. On 27 February, Pakistan Air Force conducted an airstrike into Jammu and Kashmir in retaliation for the Indian airstrike the day before. Both Pakistan and India agreed that no damage was caused by Pakistan’s airstrike. However, in an ensuing dogfight between Indian and Pakistani jets, an Indian MiG-21 was shot down over Pakistan and its pilot captured. Pakistan released the pilot on 1 March. On 5 March, Pakistan arrested 44 members of various groups, including the Jaish-e-Muhammad. Some of those arrested had been named by India in a dossier it gave to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.
URI: THE SURGICAL STRIKE
There was an attack by four heavily armed terrorists on 18 September 2016, near the town of Uri in the Indian former state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was reported as “the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades”. The terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was involved in the planning and execution of the attack. At the time of the attack, the Kashmir Valley region was a center of unrest. At around 5:30 a.m. on 18 September, four terrorists attacked an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri, near the Line of Control in a pre-dawn ambush.
The 2019 Balakot airstrike was conducted by India in the early morning hours of 26 February when Indian warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir, and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The following day, 27 February, in a tit-for-tat airstrike, Pakistan retaliated, causing an Indian warplane to be shot down and its pilot to be taken prisoner by the Pakistan military before being returned on 1 March. The airstrikes were the first time since the India-Pakistan war of 1971 that warplanes of either country crossed the Line of Control and also since both states have become nuclear powers.