Who needs enemies when you have got yourself?

Madhusudhana Rao S

The one and the only inference we can draw from the raging controversy over the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terrorist camps along the Line of Control in Occupied Kashmir last week is we don’t trust ourselves. And, we are proving that we are the enemy, justifying the expression “who needs enemies when you have got yourself?”

When the Army and the government had announced the midnight strikes to the media –and the world—none had doubted their authenticity. Nor did anybody cast doubts about the mission or questioned the operational capability in one of the most fortified and heavily-militarized zones in the world.

On the other hand, public and political leaders, cutting across party lines, had congratulated our ‘brave’ soldiers for accomplishing a seemingly impossible mission and for breaking a psychological barrier that had prevented India from crossing the Line of Control. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had become a hero even to his ardent critics.

A few days later, when the chest-thumping and the hype created by the surgical strikes were still hogging the newspaper headlines, the Pakistani dismissal of Indian claims has found an echo in the doubts expressed by some Indian leaders. On the face of it, the misgivings look as innocuous as just knowing the truth. But behind the veneer of finding the facts lays deep suspicions about whatever the government said about the strikes.

Since it’s a military operation with the Modi government’s consent, raising doubts about the mission are nothing more than questioning the integrity of our guardians of frontiers and their public statements. Worse, it’s a stealthy attempt to prove the surgical strikes were a BJP publicity stunt to win the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections if the government refuses to share the info. 

The two parties that have sought ‘proof’ of surgical strikes are Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. While its leader Arvind Kejriwal wanted the Modi government to share the proof of strikes (with the public), Congress called for  evidence. Its Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam went to the extent of calling the strikes ‘fake’ if the government failed to part with the operation details.

The reasoning behind their demand, ostensibly, is to counter Pakistan’s propaganda. Do they really think that by showing so-called proof of strikes, Pakistan will accept Indian contention and mend its ways?

It is rather unfortunate that these two parties, always at loggerheads with Modi, have chosen an Army mission to target and discredit the Prime Minister; that too at a time when the current situation calls for a strong unified response and national unity.

Ironically, these parties and those who subscribe to their view have played into the hands of Pakistan unwittingly. For that country, the voices of doubt are Allah sent. The Pakistan media has been playing up the “opposition challenge to Modi over fake strikes” to buttress its claim that it was only a cross-border firing, not a surgical strike. Islamabad has even repackaged its raft of denials with doubts expressed by Congress and AAP,

Globally, no country worth its salt will disclose details of its military operations. They will be kept under wraps for operational and security reasons. Often, Indian officials and authorities give out more than necessary, with little realization that bits of info will be picked up by enemies to compile intelligence reports. It seems we haven’t learnt any lessons from the free ‘TV shows’ aired during 26/11 terrorist strike on Mumbai in 2008. Both intelligence and military experts feel that the government should not disclose the full details of surgical strikes.

For instance, former army chief General Shankar Roy Chowdhury said “ India should definitely not put out anything on the strikes in the public domain as Pakistan’s army and intelligence are waiting to pounce on information about India’s operational techniques. NDTV quoted him as saying, “It is an ongoing operation and the ISI (Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence) and Pakistan army are eagerly looking forward to whatever they can pick up, particularly from the Indian media, because 80 per cent of all intelligence comes from open sources.” Another former chief, General JJ Singh, said,. “I don’t believe anybody has right to question the fact that we have conducted the operations and that we should show them evidence.”

Who needs enemies when you have got yourself?

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful piece by Mr. Madhusudan Rao. Kudos to Primepost

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