Instead of quoting individual replies, I'll address the main points raised, individually.
On the confirmation of employment of 4x SPICE-2000 SOWs:
Some members seem to have the notion that SPICE-250 SOWs (250lbs SDB type weapon system with ~50lbs of explosives) might have been used instead of SPICE-2000 SOWs. I would like to point them to the evidence:
Surgical Strike in Pakistan a Botched Operation?
, I agree, given the redundant guidance aboard SPICE kits, and the standing-out nature of the target...my personal assessment is that the SPICE-2000s did not fail. I personally believe they were aimed precisely 100-200m off target, with the intentions of sending a message to Pakistan. That's why I think that in the press release given by the tri-services, the IAF representative avoided placing a number on the casualties and said that "the weapons hit the intended
target, and they caused the intended
to destroy, we have got the effect
that we desired. Hamaray paas
evidence hai, jo ham karna chahtay thay, ham
target ko jitna
destroy karna chahtay thay, jo
effect ham ko chahiye tha wo
effect ham ko mil gaya hai
". I know this statement can be taken both ways, but it is still food for thought.
On the employment of 'soft' bombs:
I'm not sure what exactly some members mean by that. Is there a 2000lbs anti-personnel munition that is operational with the IAF? If yes, can we all have some credible information on that? Is there a Russian/US/Israeli munition with similar characteristics?
P.S. Israel used SDBs or SPICE-250s in the Syrian Tyas T4 strike.
On the employment of penetrating munitions:
It is evident from the ground and satellite imagery that the structure in question is non-hardened. Why would IAF employ penetrating (aka bunker-busting) munitions here? General purpose guided munitions with delayed fuses are enough for these type of structures. However it should be kept in mind that even 4x 2000lbs penetrating munitions amount up to 8000lbs of total ordinance (of which up to 2000lbs can be explosive). This much amount of explosive ordinance would have blew the said 30x30m structure to smithereens.
On the FAEs/Freshly dug ground/Mass grave theories:
I'm not sure how members arrive at this conclusion, given the only thing that's discernible is the darker hue of the soil, which might as well have come from ill-drained rain water. Take a look at the image from GE, dated 28/09/2017. Maybe JeM was developing and testing FAEs, or digging mass graves on a regular basis.
On the hole in the tail of the Mi-17:
It is absolutely possible that a cylindrical component inside the tail caused the punched out hole. It is equally possible that the helicopter fell on a cylindrical object. However, regarding the missile theory, members seem to have the notion that holes like that have to be punched IN from the side for a projectile hit to have taken place, which is true...but I'd like to point out that such a projectile would also cause a punched OUT hole on the other side, which I believe is the one visible here. After all, such projectiles don't just punch in from one side, and stop right there. However it is apparent that if it was a missile, it didn't detonate on contact.
On the Indian demonstration of will to strike back:
Agreeably, India has demonstrated its will to cross the self-imposed red lines. For a long time India had been held back by the belief, imposed on it by Pakistan, that any sort of military aggression will result in inevitable nuclear exchange. The 26th February strike of IAF disproved that belief and the concept of cultivated irrationality of Pakistan.
However in the higher echelons of the Pakistani establishment, a well planned and thoroughly war-gamed escalation ladder exists, which comprises of proportional tit-for-tat responses going up the ladder until an all-out nuclear exchange. Behind the veil of cultivated irrationality, there are sane(-ish) minds who believe in the possibility of deescalation at every step of the ladder. Regardless of what the gullible public has been led to believe on both sides of the border, a nuclear exchange will never be instant, and will give enough time for the international community to intervene (unless someone
decides to execute a pre-emptive CF strike). It will always begin with mobilization of nukes, missile launch exercises, live 'demonstrations' for the international community, CF strikes on friendly territory, CF strikes on enemy territory...and lastly ending with CV strikes on enemy territory. If someone has listened a lot to retd. Lt. Gen. Kidwai (ex-DG SPD), the 'designer' of Pakistan's entire nuclear posture, he/she will know what I'm referring to.
Seems like I struck some nerves with my rhetorical questions. Gentlemen, learn to debate with rational arguments. I'm not sure if its the frustration (understandably so) post-Pulwama, or the hatred of Pakistan, or the absolute faith in the Indian Armed Forces...that is causing educated Indian members to ignore the evidence in the face and come up with absurd explanations to justify their claims. Our heroes fail us some times, given that its not a fair or an ideal world. Mine have certainly failed me a long time ago. The correct thing to do is analyze everything objectively, and accept your own mistakes, even if they make you extremely uncomfortable. Only then you'd be able to rectify them and make yourselves better.
I don't support terrorism in any form against anyone. Personally, I believe that a few elements of the Pakistani establishment want to keep the Kashmir issue alive, and this is their way of doing so. It is a flawed strategy, and expecting to establish peace with India at the same time is plainly stupid. But there are a lot more elements who want to have peace in the region, to save the sinking ship. Musharraf took years to realize the inevitability of peace...to no avail in the end. Pakistan was never as leaning towards peace as prior to Pulwama. There is a civilian government (selected, but still) and an Army that is on the same page after ages. Both want to resolve the conflict issues so that the focus can be economic development, but it seems that the mindset of 'strategic assets' still exists somewhere deep down. Regardless, reduction of elements causing terror will definitely be seen inside Pakistan in the coming days.