Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tragedy at Uri

Keep the cheap shots — stand behind the government at this hour of crisis


Photo Courtesy +India Today 

Article first published in +Medium Click here

There are hardly any words to describe how heinous and reprehensible were the #UriAttacks. Surely, it could not have been the act of just any terrorist group without the active support of the establishment across the border — be it the #Pakistani Army and/or the ISI.

The tragedy for the families of the military personnel, who died in the attack can never be appreciated by civilians like us. It is a huge burden on the collective conscience of the nation that so many of our valiant soldiers have to lay down their lives fighting a war — that appears at least in the short run — to be a ‘no win’ battle.

Even without being a defence strategy expert — one can conjecture the attack was a ‘tit-for-tat’ move at India raising the ante on #Balochistan and isolate #Pakistan in recent engagements of the Prime Minister at a number of international fora.

Contrary to what our wrestlers and jingoists may have to say — everyone knows war is not an option between two nuclear powers — especially with one of them being a borderline rogue state.
We also have a flock of “doves” — advocating “political solution” without spelling out what that could be. Under the circumstances — the only option is trying to increase the “costs” for the other side. In that — India is at a handicap. That is because — unlike our neighbours — we do not have “non-state” actors like the Taliban and fanatical religious groups working for us. Covert intelligence operations cannot match the determination of suicidal Zihadis.

But, as a lay citizen, one wonders what can be done to minimise the damages on our side. Uri and before this Pathankot gives the impression of gaps in our defences and lapses in intelligence. Some reports seem to indicate that much more can be done to protect our forces and establishments in the border areas with better hardware and physical deterrents. That is the least we owe to our brave-hearts .

It is unfortunate that politicians and critics of the present government are trying to score points at this hour of crisis. Some are quoting (the letters — missing the ‘spirit’ of those comments) Narendra Modi’s indictment of the previous government for its failure to act against cross border terrorism. Snide digs are being made about the Prime Minister’s stop-over in Lahore last year. One senile and unemployed Congressi-Royalty even recalled the IC 814 Kandahar episode as the genesis of the current situation.

Temperatures are soaring in TV studios. Media is adding heat with alleged “leaks” from within the system. But, surely no one expects the government to carry out air-strikes in enemy territory or even drone attacks.

The only way forward is to systemically and concertedly isolate Pakistan on the international stage and build up pressure on the global biggies to bring them to the book. On that — the Narendra Modi team has done much more — within a short span of 2 years — than any other government (including Vajpayee’s) in the past. It is time people recognised that and stand firmly and unitedly behind the PM rather than having cheap pot-shots at him.


#Uri #Pakistan #UriAttacks #NarendraModi #Kashmir #Baramulla
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