Leaders of the Congress party and Aam Admi Party, including its chief Arvind Kejriwal, and others, who generally argue for peace, are wrong in demanding the proof of surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir in the wee hours on September 29. It seems the Opposition parties are irked by some BJP leaders’ efforts at cashing on the surgical strikes by exaggerating the impact of the Army’s operation in PoK. However, by trying to corner the government for proof of the surgical strikes, they are only treading a dangerous path and showing a lack of political finesse.
Here are five reasons why all those demanding proof of surgical strikes are wrong:
1. India doesn’t want war, nor do the people of the country
India conducted surgical strikes in PoK to give a befitting reply to Pakistan-supported terrorists who had killed 19 Indian soldiers at Uri in Kashmir on September 18. Terrorists had attacked in the wee hours, Indian soldiers did the same with them. India wanted to send a message across the border that it can shift from strategic restraint policy to strategic offense at will if provoked. However, the motive was not to start a full-scale war. For this India would have had attacked Pakistan military assets, not the terror launch pads.
Secondly, no matter how much ‘war’ people across the borders are engaged in on social media, they do not actually want to go to war. For that, people would start building themselves strong in the ground instead of fighting on social media.
2. Pakistan’s denial is good for both sides
India’s acceptance and Pakistan’s denial of the surgical strikes are good for both countries. First, the Indian government was under tremendous pressure from the general public, politicians, and media to give a befitting reply to Pakistan after the Uri attack. But as the days passed and the government was seen dealing in words only, the criticism of Modi government intensified. In other times, Army may have conducted surgical strikes and not let anyone know about them. But not under PM Modi. He rose to power giving India a grand vision of a strong PM. While people now want him to keep his words, Opposition wants to do politics on his past words.
Secondly, if Pakistan denies surgical strikes, its leadership is saved from the immediate wrath of the terror-conscious international community. For Pakistan always claim that terrorists do not operate from its land against India.
If India releases the video of surgical strikes, there would be demands of immediate similar strikes within the Pakistani army and also from people of the country. One can imagine where such situation would ultimately lead us to.
3. Unintended consequences
While the Opposition leaders may be happy they have got something to steal some credit of the surgical strikes the BJP wants to enjoy, they seem unaware of the unintended consequences of their demand. There have been several reports proving the authenticity of the surgical strikes. Even today, the Indian Express published an extensive report on the matter. Quoting eyewitnesses, the report proved that Indian Army did carry out the strikes.
However, with their demand, the Opposition may either lose the trust of people, who can see the truth, or may even compel the government to come out with the proof for political reasons. We have already discussed where such a scenario would lead us too.
4. Economic consequences
The video release may trigger war and derail the country’s economy. While Pakistani leadership doesn’t have much at stake except their military might and terror assets, India has one of the world’s fastest growing economy and a vision to reach the Mars.
5. Short-sighted Opposition parties must find something else to attack Modi
Opposition leaders, including Kejriwal, seem to have been blinded by Modi’s growing popularity. While there are thousands of things present all over the country on which the Opposition can build their politics, they themselves prefer to deal in rhetorics, for which they always blame the Modi government.
Countering rhetorics with rhetorics doesn’t augur well for the desperate Opposition.