Modi exploiting soldiers blood for politics NEW DELHI: Posters are out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, depicting him as the man who taught Pakistan a lesson by ordering a much-advertised surgical strike in Azad Kashmir, but Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday the government was trading the soldiers’ blood for political gain.
“Hamare jawan hain jinho ne khoon diya hai, jinho ne surgical strike kiya; unke khoon ke peechhe aap (PM) chhupe huye ho. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. (Our soldiers are the ones who sacrifice their lives, who do surgical strikes. You are claiming credit while it is the soldiers who spill their blood.”
Earlier, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam termed fake the strikes the Indian Army claimed to have made in Azad Kashmir. Mr Gandhi accused Mr Modi of exploiting the blood of soldiers.
Mr Gandhi’s comment forms part of opposition unrest and doubts over the Modi government’s claims that it ordered something new and spectacular against the Pakistanis for their alleged attack on the Uri army camp last month.
Former Congress minister Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote in his blog that he had no doubt that this was not the first surgical strike that India had undertaken.
“At least since 2008 — and possibly earlier — the military has been left to take such action as they deem appropriate along the Line of Control or LoC. Repeatedly, therefore, almost year after year, the Indian army has resorted to such strikes.”
Defence analyst Col Ajai Shukla has faced a barrage of personal insults by ruling party spokespersons for saying that Indian anchors and spokespersons need to distinguish between action “along the LoC” and action well across the LoC or the international border.
“The latter requires duly deliberated government sanction,” Mr Aiyar observed.
“The former is par for the course. Ever since the LoC was established decades ago, it has been left to the military to determine locally how best to respond to Pakistani provocations along (but not far across) the LoC. The surgical strikes undertaken by the Indian army in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 were in keeping with these standing instructions.”
According to Mr Aiyar, the Pakistanis may have decided to so treat the September 29 surgical strikes claimed by India as there have been precedents for such strikes that went officially unacknowledged on both sides of the LoC.
“It was Modi’s government that has decided to project the current round of ‘surgical strikes’ as proof of the ‘strong action’ the BJP pledged through Modi during the 2104 elections, and has asserted repeatedly since. That has left the BJP in the position of someone pushing at an open door.”