A day after Congress creates ‘Task Force’, Here are Arun Jaitley’s suggestions for DS Hooda’s panel

By: | Published: February 22, 2019 8:06 PM

"When the world is rallying around India, the Opposition in India should not be striking a discordant note."

Jaitley touched several issues while lashing out at the Congress. (File)

Union Minister Arun Jaitley has come up with suggestions for the Congress party and its newly created task force on national security. Jaitley, in a social media blog, has hit the Congress on several fronts and has also suggested to the task force to keep in mind while advising the grand old party on matters of national security.

Underlining the Surgical Strikes, Jaitley said that he is sure that the task force would educate the Congress party leaders that the surgical strikes were no routine step which had been taken several times in the past, but a significant first for India.

Jaitley touched several issues while lashing out at the Congress. The eight-point suggestions cover political unity on terrorism, slogan controversy of JNU, illegal immigration, statements on armed forces, Batla house politics, intelligence agencies, defence procurement.

“I am sure amongst the various advices that experts will render to the Congress President on strategic issues, a few basic points would be essential. I am enumerating some of the basic points which are integrally connected to consistency on the issue of national security,” Jaitley wrote in a blog on Facebook.

“The appointment of General Hooda is significant. It is a belated and grudging recognition and acceptance of the surgical strikes of 2016 with which the General was intrinsically associated. I am sure the Head of the Advisory Panel would educate the Party leaders that the surgical strikes were no routine step which had been taken several times in the past, but a significant first for India,” Jaitley wrote.

Here are the pointers put forward by Jaitley:

1) Do not give an impression to the world that India is divided on how to fight terrorism. When the world is rallying around India, the Opposition in India should not be striking a discordant note.

2) Do not trivialise a serious national concern on terrorism as has been done by the Congress Spokespersons in the past two days.

3) Next time if extremists and separatists raise slogans on how to break India (the JNU incident), no one from mainstream parties should pay a supporting visit to them. There is no freedom of speech to advocate a breakup of India.

4) Do not encourage indiscriminate illegal immigration into India and block steps which are taken to stop it. It hurts national security.

5) Our Armed forces are amongst the most professional organisations which have served this country exceedingly well. They work under a civilian command and maintain an arm’s length distance from the internal politics of the country. Politicians of any shade of opinion should not get into slanging match with any of the services personnel or their Chief. The Chief of a Force can’t be described as a ‘Sadak ka Goonda’.

6) When security personnel fight the terrorists and make sacrifices (e.g. Batla House), do not legitimise terrorism by standing shoulder to shoulder with the terrorists and call the war against terror as a fake encounter.

7) When our intelligence agencies conduct anti-insurgency operations along with the security forces (e.g. Ishrat Jahan case), do not let lose investigative agencies on the intelligence and security network of India.

8) To serve petty political gains, do not politicise defence procurement on false and imaginary facts. It hurts defence preparedness.

The Congress party on Thursday set up a task force on national security to be led by Lieutenant General (retd) D S Hooda. He was the Northern Army Commander during the surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, 2016 post the terrorist attack at the Army brigade headquarters in Uri.

Hooda will consult a ‘select group of experts’, formulate a vision paper for the country, the Congress party had announced.

Although the grand old party had extended support to the central government in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the Congress has been heavily criticising the government on what it sees as its failure to stop the attack.

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