WHAT OTH­ERS SAY

SOBER­ING MO­MENT

The Gulf Today - - OPINION -

The Sur­gi­cal Strike Day cel­e­bra­tions on Fri­day to mark the an­niver­sary of the cross-loc op­er­a­tion by the In­dian Army two years ago should be an oc­ca­sion for sober relection. Na­tions ev­ery­where cel­e­brate mil­i­tary vic­to­ries. In In­dia, Kargil Vi­jay Di­was is marked to re­mem­ber the sol­diers who laid down their lives as they pushed back Pak­istani sol­diers from points where they had in­truded into In­dia. The rea­sons for cel­e­brat­ing the 2016 op­er­a­tion are not that clear cut. By all ac­counts, the In­dian Army had car­ried out such op­er­a­tions ear­lier, but this was the irst time the gov­ern­ment made it pub­lic and took credit. In­dia’s sur­gi­cal strike across the LOC that in­licted dam­age on ter­ror­ists and their in­fra­struc­ture sent a sig­nal that there were red lines when it came to cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism. But two years down the road, can it be said with any cer­tainty that there is no more cross bor­der in­il­tra­tion, that sol­diers are no longer killed try­ing to de­fend the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of In­dia? The num­bers, pro­vided by the gov­ern­ment in Par­lia­ment and else­where, tell their own story. If there was a strate­gic goal, that too is not ap­par­ent. The sur­gi­cal strike did not per­suade in bring­ing Pak­istan to the di­a­logue ta­ble on In­dia’s terms. In fact, just last week, In­dia called off a meet­ing with Pak­istan, cit­ing the killing of a BSF jawan near the In­ter­na­tional Bor­der among other rea­sons. Hype around a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion on the LOC can only lead in one di­rec­tion — more jin­go­ism.

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