A write up by Col Tarun Poddar
One is quite surprised as to why so called sources in the Home Ministry (as reported in the newspapers) are commenting on the incident of the brutal killing of the two soldiers at the LOC on 7thJan. Clarifications, statements or comments on such incidents are required to be handled by the Ministry of External Affairs or the Ministry of Defence. Having stated the above one is left wondering if we have Pakistanis in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy or apologists or sheer incompetent, bumbling and spineless creatures. Do these people have no national pride? Even if the comments are not attributable to the home ministry, they have been made by some motor mouth in the Government. At the drop of a hat the Govt is at sixes and sevens. No wonder we are considered a soft state and not taken seriously at all. Let me hasten to add that I am not advocating an eye for an eye but the sheer brutality is sickening and requires a strong response instead of trying to reason why this brutality was perpetrated and look for scapegoats within. We have such short memories have we already forgotten the atrocities on Capt Kalia and his patrol?
The Govt spends 3% of the the GDP on Defence and the Forces are not paid from this to sit on their haunches. The Forces are mandated to ensure the territorial integrity of the country and take actions to ensure that all our territory is safe. If, 9 MARATHA LIGHT INFATRY COMMANDOS (9MLI) launched a limited operation across the LOC on Saturday/Sunday (5th/6th Jan) prior to this particular incident, the same must have been because of grave provocation from the Pakistanis over a sustained period of time which the hotline of the DGMOs or flag meetings could not resolve. A trans LOC operation such as the one allegedly launched by 9 MLI is approved at the highest level not below a Corps. Therefore to blame the 161 Brigade Commander is preposterous and even if he has launched such an operation it must have been to restore an intolerable situation. Also the so called swift response from the Pakistani side cannot be linked to the 9 MLI incident; as such operations are carefully planned and rehearsed before execution. So it is most likely that the 13 RAJRIF incident was executed by the Pakistani Army or the LET with their active support after painstaking planning. The Indian battalion commanders and above on the LOC are quite circumspect and do not escalate a situation unilaterally which the media report implies.
I commanded my Battalion on the LOC and there were umpteen incidents of unprovoked firing by the Pakistanis. In one such firing incident (during the day) a barber from my Battalion lost his leg because of bullet injury. Pakistani mindset cannot be changed by adopting a soft stance and they will not come to their senses by pacifist responses or we can wait and wish that they collapse because of their own internal turmoil, while we maintain our eternal vigil. It is high time that we stop this hogwash of ‘Aman ki Asha’ and providing a platform to Pakistani artistes in the false hope that improved cultural ties will change the Pakistani stance and affording an opportunity to some of our has beens to be in the limelight. Actually, it is a only few Pakistani artistes who are making money and a population that has been brainwashed and indoctrinated will only produce more Kasabs to be used as cannon fodder against us.
I think it is time the politicians and bureaucrats are told by the Nation to leave the Forces alone to keep the country safe from outsiders, as it is, both of them have failed to address governance issues and half the country is plagued by the Naxalite problem and they expect the Defence Forces to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.