Lt Gen DS Hooda, the Architect of Surgical Strikes, to Lead Rahul Gandhi's Task Force on National Security
New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has set up a task force on national security to prepare a vision paper for the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammed member.
The task force will be led by Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd), the commanding officer of the Northern Army Command who oversaw the much-lauded surgical strikes against terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in 2016 after the Uri attack.
According to sources, the task force will prepare the vision paper on strategy to guard the borders in consultation with a select group of experts.
Hooda said the report would be completed in about a month's time.
"The task force will be a mix of experts. Looking at former diplomats, former military personnel and also those who have served in the police in Maoist areas," Hooda told News18. Adding that the report will initiate the debate on national security issues in India.
"It will start a debate on preparing a national security plan for India which we have not had so far," he said.
The Congress chief met the retired general on Thursday, hours after the Congress took on the Narendra Modi government for intel failures leading up to the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Kashmir on February 14.
The task force is to counter the BJP, which has managed to capture the political narrative around security and nationalism post the terror attack.
While both BJP and Congress had earlier said they won’t politicise the attack, the saffron party’s chief, Amit Shah, had said recently in a rally, “Their (CRPF personnel) sacrifice won’t go in vain as it’s not the Congress government which is at the Centre, it is the BJP which is at the Centre”.
The Congress on Thursday questioned why PM Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval have not accepted their responsibility for this massive intelligence failure.
It pointed out that the Jammu and Kashmir police had shared an input with all security agencies two days before the attack that a video uploaded online showed that such an attack may be carried out.
The party also questioned where local terrorist Adil Ahmed Dar and his accomplices managed to get hold of the enormous quantity of RDX used to cause the blast, and how the vehicle reached the convoy despite tight security.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also criticised Modi, stating that he did not announce national mourning and arrived an hour late when coffins of jawans arrived at the airport. The senior Congress leader also questioned as to why BSF’s proposal for air courier was ignored.
Looking at completing the report in about a month's time.
The task force will be a mix of experts. Looking at former diplomats, former military guys and also those who have served in the police in Maoist areas.
Not saying it will be a fabulous report but it will be start of a debate in India when it comes to national security issues. It will start a debate on preparing a national security plan for India which we have not had so far.