Former union minister and Congress leader Anand Sharma on Thursday criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) NDA government for publicising the army’s operations in Myanmar and said that jingoism and boastful claims are not going to help the operations of India’s special forces.
“It is very sad to see a spectacle where the government has embarked on a publicity… those who should be taking care of national security are busy having sponsored stories in the newspapers and photographs about what they were doing in Manipur. What they proposed to do in the coming days, there should be sobriety, there should be maturity,” said Sharma.
“Jingoism and boastful claims are not going to help the operations of India’s special forces. There has to be secrecy. Special forces’ missions are always discreet. Their identity is not revealed. Their
details are not disclosed. It is not the first time that our special forces have this capability. It did not happen overnight,” he added.
The Congress leader also cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the publicity that is going on post the Myanmar operations.
“I would urge the PM he should have drawn lesson from Nepal, himself when we went in for major relief operations there was a publicity and propaganda which caused us embarrassment in a country which has enormous amount of goodwill for India. The same has been happening over the last two days. Prime Minister should restrain his officials so that there is no repeat,” he said.
Sharma said that insurgency, terrorism, militancy and separatism are serious challenges India has faced over the decades.
“Our army has built its capabilities, the special forces have their reach and the armed forces have the understanding for operational purposes with the armed forces of the neighbouring countries to
conduct operations with their knowledge and with their understanding,” he added.
The army on Tuesday engaged two separate groups of militants along the Indo-Myanmar border, inflicting significant casualties on them.
A statement from the Ministry of Defence said that the operations were necessary in light of intelligence reports, which warned of militants planning attacks on Indian soil. The statement further appreciated the cooperation shared between the armies of India and Myanmar, assuring that any security threat to the nation will be met with a ‘firm response’.
The action comes days after a militant ambush in Manipur, which led to the death of 18 army personnel and injured 11 others.
The ambush, which was one of the most deadly attacks in the region in recent years, occurred at around 8.30 am on June 4, when the army ‘s convoy was travelling between Paralong and Charong villages.
The central government later handed over the probe into the attacks to the National Investigation Agency.