Congress on Saturday used Lt Gen (retired) DS Hooda’s recent comment on surgical strikes as an opportunity to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
DS Hooda, who was the Northern Army Commander in 2016 when India carried out surgical strikes across LoC, said that the strikes have been politicised and overhyped. Congress president Rahul Gandhi used this remark to accuse PM Modi of using surgical strikes for political gain.
“Spoken like a true soldier General [DS Hooda]. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 [Modi] has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by Rs 30,000 crore (sic),” Rahul tweeted.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also took to Twitter to thank General Hooda for “exposing” PM Modi. “Thank you Lt Gen Hooda for exposing the petty politicisation by PM Modi! No one can use the valour and sacrifice of our brave soldiers to score cheap political points…Modiji is squarely guilty of compromising national security and strategic interests by unwarranted chest thumping!” Surjewala wrote.
Lt General DS Hooda, in September 2016, was part of the planning team for the strikes on Pakistani terror launchpads. “I do think the surgical strike was overhyped and politicised…but from the military point of view, the strike was much needed,” he said on Saturday. Speaking to ANI, he also said that the strikes were important from the military point of view to send a strong message to Pakistan. “We had lost so many soldiers in Uri. It was important to send a strong message to Pakistan. We wanted to tell Pakistan that if they come to our side and carry out such strikes [Uri attack], then we can also go to their area and carry out bigger and better strikes,” Hooda said.
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2018
Commenting on this, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said it is Hooda’s personal opinion. “These are individual person’s perceptions so let’s not comment on them. He was one of the main persons involved in the conduction of these operations so I respect his words very much,” Rawat said.
The surgical strikes were followed by a pre-dawn attack on September 18, 2016 in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistan-based terrorists in Uri. As public outrage in India grew, the cross-border strike was cleared by Prime Minister Modi. The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval, then Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and Northern Army Commander DS Hooda in consultation with other security agencies had planned out this covert strike.
India had planned for about 10 days before launching commandos across the border.
On September 29, 2016, a crack team of the Indian Army crossed the border and struck at least 4 terror launchpads some of which were collocated with the Pakistan Army facilities.
Videos of the strike across the LoC were made public this year in September, a couple of days before the second anniversary of the strike.
News credit : indiatoday