The entire nation is justifiably incensed over the brutality of the Pakistani army which crossed the Line of Control and killed two of our soldiers — beheading one of them. But BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s reported statement that if India cannot get back the head of Hemraj (the beheaded jawan), it should get at least 10 heads from Pakistan is irresponsible, especially because it comes from the Leader of the Opposition.
Army Chief General Bikram Singh’s response that India reserves the right to retaliate at a “time and place of its choice” is more appropriate. That the Pakistan army has resorted to such barbaric acts in the past and got away with them reflects poorly on our political leadership. While we need to eschew any disproportionate response, the local army commanders must be given the freedom to respond appropriately to any unprovoked action by the Pakistan army.
When a 23-year-old woman was gang raped in a moving bus (leading to her death) in Delhi, India’s voice reverberated across the country demanding that the six culprits be brought to justice. The same voice is reverberating across the length and breadth of the nation demanding strong retaliatory action against Pakistan. India’s anger is justified. But retaliatory action certainly does not mean the head of 10 Pakistani soldiers as suggested by Ms Swaraj. Inflammable statements are unwarranted at this point of time. An ‘eye for an eye’ is not in India’s tradition because it is not a rogue nation. I am sure plans are in place on the drawing boards of the Indian Army. One hopes Pakistan will be taught a fitting lesson.
Capt. T. Raju (retd.),
We want stern action against Pakistan. The Opposition leader has even demanded 10 heads. But I wonder whether her sentiment and that of the politicians, bureaucrats, and media persons queuing up to offer their condolences to the bereaved families has to do with patriotism or the clamour for retaliation.
If we strike now, we will only send more soldiers to uncertainty. Poor front-line soldiers who never get respect in the army or in civil life will die in vain. People of both Pakistan and India want peace. Only a few game players with vested interests want the peace process to fail. Poor soldiers should not become victims of the game.
Any aggressive move against Pakistan will hurt the progressive liberal forces there. Any further escalation of tensions between the two nuclear weapon states will put the life and liberty of thousands of innocent citizens at risk.
We need to be patient. We need to have faith in the government. Gandhiji’s ideology of “ahimsa” should be followed. If we get 10 Pakistani heads, they will slit 100 Indian throats. We must stop this.
Shariq Us Sabah,
Ms Swaraj’s vehement response to the brutality of Pakistani soldiers is welcome. It is time we took some strong steps to retaliate against Pakistan.
The Pakistan Army’s barbaric act is reprehensible and has jeopardised the already insecure and fragile bilateral ties between New Delhi and Islamabad. Years of confidence building by liberals on both sides over the years have failed to inspire hawkish elements which are making peaceful coexistence a mirage.
Pakistan cannot fool the international community any more. Global custodians of peace can no longer overlook its transgressions for the sake of geopolitics. India should not only protest but also put the Pakistani leadership on notice.