Letters to the Editor

Print edition : November 11, 2016

India & Pakistan

ALTHOUGH the surgical strikes met with success, BJP leaders and Central Ministers should avoid “chest-thumping” and jingoism (Cover Story, October 28). There was a lot of hype on the surgical strikes in mainstream newspapers and TV channels, and the Defence Ministry did not lag behind, lauding India’s military superiority and prowess over Pakistani forces. There were surgical strikes on previous occasions, but the details were never revealed to the public, and there is a genuine suspicion among the opposition that BJP leaders are using them as a propaganda tool because of the upcoming Assembly elections in some key States.

Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of Burhan Wani. It would be disastrous if the Narendra Modi government put the Kashmir issue on the back burner. The Centre should talk to all stakeholders, especially young people, to establish peace in the Valley.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

IT is unfortunate to note the strained relationship between India and Pakistan. Both countries have abundant natural resources, but bad politics has taken a heavy toll on their wealth and on the trade ties between them. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the powers that be in India and Pakistan to take serious steps to nurture rapport and strengthen the economic activity between them. Both countries need to understand the importance of “being friends”.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai

THE Indian Army’s decision to conduct surgical strikes across the LoC was the need of the hour. It sent the strong message that cross-border terrorism sponsored by the Pakistan Army and the ISI will not go unchallenged any more. India has almost isolated Pakistan diplomatically in the international arena. India must conduct such operations off and on whenever the situation demands it so that there is a long-term effect on cross-border terrorism.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bishnupur, West Bengal

THE hyperbole created in the wake of the surgical strikes will only serve to exacerbate the mistrust and tension between neighbouring countries and villagers in the border areas, who are, figuratively and literally, in the line of fire. The euphoria over the success of the surgical strikes should not metamorphose into “hatriotism”, a term coined by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Chest-thumping only vitiates the atmosphere, which is the least desirable situation between two nuclear-armed neighbours. Howsoever unpalatable it may be to accept the situation in Kashmir, it cannot be wished away.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala

THE Cover Story was a timely analysis of the ground reality. The Indian armed forces are capable of thwarting any trouble from across the border, but it is necessary to minimise tensions by creating a climate conducive to meaningful collaboration between the two countries on the issue of eliminating terrorism. The problem needs a long-term approach through people-to-people participation. War can do no good to either country.

The large-scale displacement of the border residents on both sides and its impact should be an eye-opener for both countries. If Pakistan focussed on development, it would earn the goodwill of the international community.

Sheojee Singh, Chandigarh

THE Indian Army’s strike against terrorists has left Pakistan wondering what happened and shown that India cannot be taken for granted. The fact that India’s trusted ally Russia is leaning towards Pakistan has kept India guessing, but one must not forget that in the past it was Russia that came to India’s rescue several times despite being friendly with Pakistan.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

THE retaliatory strikes were welcome and long overdue. They were a timely warning to all those who are hell-bent on destabilising the country and they highlighted the Modi government’s policy of zero tolerance for terrorism and insurgency. It is not India’s surgical strikes that are responsible for escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours; the Pakistani government and military establishment are responsible for the escalation of tension and the breakdown of bilateral dialogue. It is an undisputed fact that Pakistani forces have indulged in numerous and repeated violations of the ceasefire and human rights. But for the restraint exercised by Indian forces, the situation could have been worse. Despite India’s many initiatives to offer Pakistan an olive branch, that country’s response has been hostile and provocative. It is heartening that the entire opposition has wholeheartedly supported the strikes.

Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

WHEN the National Democratic Alliance government maintained the usual passiveness after the Uri attack, many people felt that Modi did not live up to the expectations they had of him when he came to power. And then came the surgical strikes, at the apt time. No one, not the opposition, China or the United Nations, could criticise India’s action, and almost all major nations warned Pakistan about sponsoring terrorism.

The surgical strikes are not going to make Pakistan afraid of India or stop it from exporting terrorists nor will they bring a permanent solution to the problem, but they are a tribute to the soldiers who have lost their lives in terror attacks and give citizens who have undergone the trauma for two decades a sense of security and satisfaction. Pakistan, which had been sure that India would never militarily react, was sent a clear message.

Sushil Kumar, Bijoi, Aurangabad district, Bihar