Attacks Like Naushera Done Before, Video Shows New Approach: Lt General D S Hooda
Soon after Indian Army released a video of its ‘proactive action’ against Pakistan, showing targeted attacks on Pakistan’s forward posts in Naushera sector across the Line of Control, former Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda told News18 that the firing conveyed the right message to Pakistan.
File photo of Lt General (retired) DS Hooda. (CNN_News18)
New Delhi: Soon after Indian Army released a video of its ‘proactive action’ against Pakistan, showing targeted attacks on Pakistan’s forward posts in Naushera sector across the Line of Control, former Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda told News18 that the firing conveyed the right message to Pakistan. Edited Excerpts:
Is it another surgical strike moment for India?
This kind of firing has been done in the past. It’s not another surgical strike moment for us. However, what’s more important is the messaging that has come out of this. Earlier, whenever we spoke of firing and attacks from our side, Pakistan used to deny any such a happening. The current approach shows that we are serious on our stand of stopping infiltration. We have regularly told Pakistan army that they must stop infiltration from their side, or else the Line of Control will remain hot. With the Army’s revelation today, the messaging is more nuanced and cemented.
As a former soldier, what do you make out of the video being shown on the screen?
I am all for this move by the Indian Army. The messaging from the release of video is for two sets of people. One is for the Pakistan army across the border. They can’t deny our actions now. And it is strong message that activities along the border will be appropriately responded. And the second message is for some within the country. There have been talks questioning whether the Army is doing enough to respond to various actions by Pakistan. This video will hopefully put things in perspective for them too.
Going public with videos of such operations was never the norm in the past. What has changed now?
This is a well thought out move and clearance must have been given by the government. As I said, such attacks keep on happening. It is the release of the video which is a change in approach of the government. So, for sure, they must have cleared this.
But Pakistan has said that, if true, this is violation of ceasefire.
Ceasefire violations are a reality on the ground. Of course, this is a violation. But make no mistake, we hit at the army posts, not fire at civilian villages like they do. For Pakistan to complain now about ceasefire violations and try putting themselves on a higher moral ground makes no sense.
Is this attack retaliation enough for the beheading of Indian soldiers?
Soldiers are dying on our side in countering terror. We have told Pakistan to curb infiltration from their end, but they have never paid heed. But we can’t just sit on our hands and do nothing. Realistically, this is not going to calm things down at the border, but it’s a good enough message. We can’t always be expected to maintain peace along the LoC, while our neighbours do whatever they please.
In your view, what should be done next?
We need a whole range of activities. Military actions are a part of this, but they have to be combined with diplomatic actions as well. Choking of terror funds, tackling supporters of Pakistan within the Valley — we need to look at it all. What we need is an overarching policy on dealing with Pakistan.
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