Winning the war of nerves

September 20, 2020

Surkhuru is an 11-minute docudrama that recalls a Navy operation carried out on March 4, 2019

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise ...

Rudyard Kipling, If

On March 4, 2019, the Pakistan Navy kept its head and its cool and very responsibly made an enemy vessel turn around and go back to where it had come from that day. It’s a historic day in which the Pakistan Navy detected enemy activity in the shape of an Indian submarine, the newly-commissioned state-of-the-art, deadly INS Kalvary with stealth features in its waters and deterred it instead of destroying it. That day reminds one of these very lines.

Surkhru is a docudrama based on this true incident. It unveils the happenings behind the very responsible and mature action taken by the Pakistan Navy that day. The 11-minute film, released on Navy’s Defense Day (Sept 8), includes actual footage of the entire operation, which is an inspiring delight to watch. There were the capable officers in Pakistan Navy’s P-3C Orion reporting to Naval Command Headquarters that they could hit and destroy the submarine; there they were, waiting for the orders, which were not given because better sense prevailed.

As pointed out in the film, Pakistan Navy is the oldest in submarine warfarein the entire region. Its action on March 4, 2019 was the second incident of successfully detecting an Indian submarine during standoff in the recent past. The film also opens a window to India’s way of thinking. “Right from 1947, India has never accepted the existence of Pakistan,” Commodore (retd) Obaidullah of the Pakistan Navy is heard saying.

And yet, by the grace of Allah, despite having the vessel in sight and within range and despite having the capability of destroying it within seconds, Pakistan Navy restrained and won the war of nerves,proving that it is not trigger-happy. Not wanting to add to the tension in the region and not looking forward to unnecessary conflict, Pakistan Navy’s response must be appreciated and lauded, even by Pakistan’s enemies.

Surkhuru: Winning the war of nerves