Strong re­sponse to Pak­istan is ur­gent

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK -

The re­cent killing of five In­dian soldiers by Pak­ista­nis, ir­re­spec­tive of whether they were army reg­u­lars or non-state ac­tors dressed in army fa­tigues, is highly con­demnable, call­ing for se­vere ac­tion from In­dia. The de­mand for a strong re­sponse from In­dia is grow­ing and rightly so, even as Pak­istan con­tin­ues to not only vi­o­late the cease­fire along the line of con­trol, but also has a ma­jor hand in spawn­ing cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism.

The Prime Min­is­ter, Dr Man­mo­han Singh in his ad­dress to the Na­tion has said for re­la­tions with Pak­istan to im­prove, it is es­sen­tial that they pre­vent the use of their ter­ri­tory and ter­ri­tory un­der their con­trol for any anti-In­dia ac­tiv­ity. He said that all pos­si­ble steps will be taken to pre­vent in­ci­dents of the das­tardly at­tack on our Jawans on the line of con­trol with Pak­istan.

While wel­com­ing the Prime Min­is­ter’s state­ment, we be­lieve that In­dia’s re­sponse has to be in­deed strong and on dif­fer­ent fronts – diplo­matic, trade and even mil­i­tary. Pak­istan is a ‘failed state’ and it is keen on cre­at­ing ten­sions not just on the In­dian bor­der but also in the main­land. Any peace and progress talks with Pak­istan has to keep in mind the ground re­al­ity – how the neigh­bour has been covertly aid­ing cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism. 26/11 is a grim re­minder of that.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is call­ing for re­solv­ing peace­fully the hos­til­i­ties, even though it knows that Pak­istan is a ‘rogue state’ as Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch calls. In his forth­right col­umn, he has said the In­dian Army needs to im­me­di­ately re­view its coun­ter­in­fil­tra­tion op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure on the LoC. In all like­li­hood com­man­ders on ground are con­strained by an over­whelm­ing urge to look for sig­nal from the brass be­fore tak­ing any tough step. They will have to re­visit the old adage: what is mil­i­tar­ily de­sir­able is not nec­es­sar­ily po­lit­i­cally cor­rect. They must know that mix­ing po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­ency with mil­i­tary ac­tion is sui­ci­dal. Only then In­dian Army of­fi­cers can re­gain the con­fi­dence of its men and thereby the In­dian cit­i­zens.

In­dia has the might to deal with any ad­verse sit­u­a­tion. The armed forces are fight­ing fit and they are be­ing equipped with the lat­est of equip­ment, tech­nolo­gies. As we write, we have the news of launch of Vikrant, In­dia’s first in­dige­nous air­craft car­rier (IAC). The De­fence Min­is­ter Antony while con­grat­u­lat­ing the ef­fort has said that we must con­tinue the process of strength­en­ing in­dige­nous ca­pa­bil­ity to­wards se­cur­ing our mar­itime in­ter­ests.

In­duct­ing the most mod­ern equip­ment, whether in­dige­nous or from over­seas, is key, and this brings us to the cur­rent de­bate on the ba­sic trainer air­craft (BTA). Air Mar­shal (Retd) Anil Cho­pra men­tions that the en­tire pro­cure­ment process is han­dled by the Min­istry of De­fence with the sup­port of the Air Head­quar­ters and that the pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures are fol­lowed metic­u­lously in a trans­par­ent man­ner. Any in­sin­u­a­tion of di­lu­tions of spec­i­fi­ca­tions to favour a par­tic­u­lar ven­dor or air­craft, are base­less and in­cor­rect.

We need to move in the pos­i­tive di­rec­tion as we cel­e­brate the 67th In­de­pen­dence Day.

Happy In­de­pen­dence Day !

Jayant Baran­wal

Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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