Do Opposition leaders know what they are talking about?
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]o they realize that they are behaving like warmongers? They seem to be as confused as Pakistan is today. It doesn’t know what to do with Narendra Modi’s India; accustomed to the meekness of successive regimes in New Delhi, both Islamabad and Rawalpindi are rattled at this moment. Indian Opposition leaders may not just make the Pakistanis even more confused but even end up escalating the situation.
…he made it clear that the attack was not against Pakistan but against terrorists—who, by Pakistanis’ own admission, have caused a great deal of mayhem in their country.
Pakistan’s denial of surgical strikes is something that peace-loving people in the Indian subcontinent should welcome, for acceptance of the attack would goad the Pakistan Army to retaliate. We should not lose sight of the fact that the Army in our western neighbor is an institution both feared and admired. Gen. Raheel Sharif is a national hero. Due to retire shortly, he would not like to be remembered as an Army Chief who couldn’t respond manfully to an attack by the enemy nation which, according to their narrative, also routinely represses Muslims in Kashmir.
Besides, the Army as an institution would not like its esteem to be lowered in public estimation. It is against this backdrop that Pakistan’s denial should be viewed.
Cognizant of these realities, the Modi government trod extremely cautiously after the decisive action. Notice the reticence of the Director General Military Operations, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, when he made the statement about the strikes. It was an essay in minimalism. He said, “Based on receiving specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carryout infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at several of these launch pads to preempt infiltration by terrorists. The operations were focused on ensuring that these terrorists do not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens” (emphasis added).
Notice that he made it clear that the attack was not against Pakistan but against terrorists—who, by Pakistanis’ own admission, have caused a great deal of mayhem in their country.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]urther, the DGMO made it clear that India had no intentions of escalating the conflict: “During these counter terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them. The operations aimed at neutralizing terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for further continuation. However, the Indian Armed Forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise.”
…Chidambaram is a former home minister. Is he too ignorant of the consequences? Doesn’t he know what impact would it have on Pakistan?
Singh also said that he had apprised his Pakistani counterpart about the action, adding, “It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.”
By any reckoning, this is not the statement of a warmongering Prime Minister’s general.
The recent remarks made by our Opposition leaders, however, are intended to augment belligerence in the region. So, Congress leader P. Chidambaram told a news channel that “let the government respond to the demand for releasing videos.” There are others too, like Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress and Ajay Alok of the JDU, who are seeking evidence.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was the first who made a similar demand earlier. Now, perhaps Kejriwal doesn’t think before or after saying anything, but Chidambaram is a former home minister. Is he too ignorant of the consequences? Doesn’t he know what impact would it have on Pakistan? That it may be forced to retaliate massively and escalate the Indo-Pak tensions?
For years, we have been lectured by these very leaders and sundry intellectuals about Modi’s aggressive jingoism. What we see today, however, is statesmanlike behavior from him—a blend of firmness and prudence. Opposition leaders, on the other hand, have exposed themselves as reckless warmongers.