Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Failing to respond this time would encourage Pakistan … tell the world we have no choice but to take strong military action: General VP Malik September 26, 2016, 2:00 am IST TOI Q&A in The Interviews Blog | Edit Page, India, Q&A | TOI With Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally reiterating that those guilty of killing 18 Indian soldiers in Uri will be punished, former army chief General V P Malik has pushed vehemently for calibrated military action, arguing that failure to retaliate would encourage Pakistan. Ahead of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech in the UN General Assembly today, General Malik, who led the Army during the Kargil war, spoke to Ajay Sura, on why India should make efforts to declare Pakistan a terrorist state and about the government’s response so far: edit-VP-Malik Should India strike back? What are the military options with India? If we fail to respond this time, it would further encourage Pakistan to continue training and arming more militants to send them across and interfere in our internal situation in Kashmir and elsewhere. Military option includes retaliation across line of control with the support of heavy artillery and airpower. It can be surprise raids on militant camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and occupation of important territory which is most vulnerable to infiltration. While carrying out such strikes, we must ensure that they are well-coordinated and should not forget that risk is high if the surprise element is lost. The military option should not be an impetuous reaction and we should build in an escalatory ladder (factoring in reactions from the other side). A well-coordinated military operation can be carried out considering all important factors including cost, risk, mitigation and chances of success in present circumstances. What diplomatic options should India exercise? We should make efforts to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. It can be done easily not by mere pleading but telling the nations in the world that they are leaving us no choice except to take very strong military action against Pakistan. Don’t show helplessness to a world forum: tell the world forum, if collectively you do not take any action against Pakistan, you are not leaving any choice before us except to wage war. During the Kargil war, around the middle of June, the US was virtually given an ultimatum that you are leaving us no choice except to cross the international border with Pakistan. We cannot hold our military back. The message was conveyed by Brajesh Mishra (then National Security Adviser) to Sandy Berger (then US National Security Adviser). He pleaded with us please don’t do anything, you will see the reaction from our side. That is why, later on a dialogue was started. Either the reaction is military heavy or diplomatic heavy. All three chiefs of armed forces should be kept in the loop. Have we learnt anything from Pathankot and other provocations? We should have learnt but apparently not enough. We have made the same mistakes as far as infiltration is concerned and permitted infiltration to take place. There is no doubt that there has been some complacency, whether it was in Pathankot or in the Uri administration base. We obviously were not able to send a correct message after Pathankot. Our message after Pathankot just fizzled out, our action could be termed a failure. Some political leaders suggested during the Kargil war that we should push on and take PoK. You rejected the idea. Why? The circumstances under which we fought the Kargil war were totally different from the situation today. In early 1999, the international community considered us a rogue state of sorts because of our nuclear tests and imposed sanctions on us. During one of my conversations, i was asked if we could capture the whole of PoK. I said it will require not only the material the armed forces needed but will also require a long time. Not crossing the LoC was the order we got. How is the global political scenario today different from 1999 and early 2002 after the Parliament attack? 1999 was too close to our nuclear tests and talks were going on about that. After the Parliament attack, we again made a mistake in not doing anything even after keeping our forces on alert for 10 months. I would say till January 2002, they were scared but later they realised that we are not going to do anything. Thereafter we had the Gujarat incident and we started withdrawing our forces. It was obvious that we were not doing anything. Whatever we do should have some impact. During Operation Parakram we could have made some impact but failed to do so at the time. What about political and military preparedness today? The only weakness with the present political authority is that they don’t seem to look at security issues in a holistic manner. They have divided it into compartments. I have not seen as much cabinet committee on security (CCS) meetings as during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time. I cannot discuss details of military preparedness but i can say that the forces are capable enough to deal with any situation

No comments:

Post a comment