The editorial was a balanced call for sanity amid rabble-rousing by our politicians who seem to be playing to the gallery by making ‘patriotic’ calls for armed retaliation. It will be akin to playing into the hands of Pakistan, which is desperately seeking to divert attention from its internal disturbances, as pointed out by Praveen Swami in his article “Green Books, red herring and the LoC war” (Jan. 16).
India should show exemplary statesmanship and leadership, and strategise its options to stop the low-intensity conflicts from escalating. It should choose the method and time for optimum retaliation rather than a short-term pyrrhic victory.
Nithish T. Jacob,
By asking for the heads of 10 Pakistani soldiers, Sushma Swaraj has diminished her image of a sober, thinking politician who understands the dynamics of India-Pakistan relations.
As Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Ms Swaraj carries the responsibility of tendering sane and sober advice to the government on vital national issues rather than displaying belligerence. Her attempts to derive political mileage out of a highly volatile international issue cannot be seen as anything other than partisan politics at the cost of the larger national interest.
Armies are trained to defend their borders. But the barbaric act of the Pakistani army — mutilating the bodies of two jawans, beheading one of them — is reflective of a belligerent psyche and compulsive hatred for the Indian army. To expect a flag meeting to produce results after fruitless exchanges at the DGMO level was pointless. Such stumbling actually sends out a larger message — of a Prime Minister unwilling to look beyond the stock market for assessing the public mood.
Beheading 10 Pakistanis is not the solution to the LoC tensions. In such hours of crisis, the Opposition should work with the ruling party. Pakistan is facing an internal crisis with its Supreme Court ordering the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, and there is every possibility of a military rule there. In order to shift the media’s focus to other things, Pakistan seems to have turned its attention to the Indian border.
It has happened in the past and is happening again. Whenever relations between India and Pakistan improve, the Pakistan Army does something to derail the peace process. It owes its supremacy and sacrosanct status in the country to the India factor. The crisis in the civilian government will further strengthen its position, hurting our interests.
Peace talks should continue as long as an elected government exists in Pakistan. It is the Pakistan army and the ISI that have discredited the country. The two will have to answer the people one day and this will happen sooner rather than later.
India should stay the course, while investing more in the safety of our people and soldiers on the borders.
As a child, I always complained that my family showed unnecessary restraint during arguments with neighbours. Later, I felt my mohalla (ward) exercised undue restraint when differences with other mohallas of the village surfaced. Now, I feel my country is being soft in handling Pakistan.
While I realise that the restraint shown by my family and mohalla was good for all of us, I am not sure whether the restraint being exercised by my country is a sign of wisdom or timidity.
I fail to understand why the electronic media is bringing pressure on the government to take immediate action against Pakistan. It has been forced to send back Pakistan’s hockey players and cancel concerts of Pakistani musicians. Yes, a strong message must go to Pakistan but without disturbing cultural, sporting and civil society interactions.
The media should help to enhance trust between people of the two countries rather than add fuel to the fire.