NEW DELHI: Former Army chief Dalbir Singh today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a "very bold decision" of approving surgical strikes in Myanmar and Pakistan in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
One of the aims of the surgical strikes was "deterrence", Singh said, and the goal was achieved after the 2016 operation.
Singh, who was the Army chief when both the strikes were carried out, added that there has not been any major incident in Jammu and Kashmir after the daring operation.
"In June 2015, we conducted surgical strikes in Myanmar, and again in September 2016, we conducted surgical strikes in Pakistan. Both strikes were very successful without any loss of life...no casualty to our people.
"It was a very bold decision of our prime minister to approve the surgical strikes. So, the credit firstly goes to our prime minister. The credit also goes to my subordinates, my able commanders and brave soldiers who executed these surgical strikes," Singh told reporters.
The 2015 strike in Myanmar was carried out by the Army following the killing of 20 soldiers by Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang faction (NSNC-K) in Manipur. The 2016 strike was carried out on the intervening night of September 28-29 in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) after an attack on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that had killed 19 soldiers.
"We are grateful to the prime minister for reposing faith and confidence in the Indian Army and the armed forces. And we lived up to the expectations of the nation," he said.
Singh said after the Army conducted surgical strikes in Myanmar, he had decided that the forces will retaliate in a similar way if there was any such attack in future.
"What we did in Myanmar...it was decided that if any such major incident (like the killing of soldiers in Manipur) takes place in future, I did not have any doubt that we had to undertake such an exercise. We started a lot of preparations after the Myanmar strike. And we got a lot of time in training to ensure success," Singh said.