Infiltration frequency will test strikes’ success: Shivshankar Menon

Menon stressed that from a strategic point of view, in the last 30 years when Pakistan has thrown cross border terrorism in all its worst form, India has done its best in this period.

By: PTI | Washington | Published:October 12, 2016 4:06 pm
ShivshankarMenon stated that what has happened post-Uri has “not eliminated these jihadi tanzims” or any of the terror groups. Express photo by Cheena Kapoor

Asserting that actions like surgical strikes are not a “permanent solution”, former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon has said the real test of success of India’s military action in PoK is whether the LoC is pacified and the infiltration goes down.

Talking about the surgical strikes carried out by India in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack, he said he was not sure if it indicated a major shift in policy and described India’s action akin to mowing the grass, which one has to do repeatedly at regular intervals from keeping the grass to attain certain height.

“I am not sure, if there is a major shift in policy,” he told reporters.

“First of all the use of (the term) surgical strike is not right. It is a phrase developed by the US in the nuclear context. It had a very specific meaning — taking out the adversaries’ nuclear weapons through surgical strike and eliminate those weapons,” said Menon, who was the NSA from 2011 to 2014 under the Manmohan Singh government.

Menon stated that what has happened post-Uri has “not eliminated these jihadi tanzims” or any of the terror groups.

“It was an attack on few launch pads and of course damage to them. But this is not a damage that they cannot repair or recover. Secondly there was a huge amount of restraint shown in the choice of target and the location, it’s on Indian territory after all,” Menon said.

“I think, the difference is that this government has chosen to go public. Whether it works or not, the real test is whether the Line of Control is pacified, whether the infiltration goes down,” Menon said.

Noting that every government chooses its own way of dealing with these things, Menon said, “My own sense, which the Israelis describe is like mowing the grass. Something you need to keep doing, but the grass would keep growing. And it is not a permanent solution. Not military force, not diplomacy, but combination of both together amount to mow ing the grass.”

Menon stressed that from a strategic point of view, in the last 30 years when Pakistan has thrown cross border terrorism in all its worst form, India has done its best in this period.

“This is not an existential threat to India. This is something that can be managed, needs to be managed, needs responses, including military, diplomatic and other responses and to the extent that this government is now doing it publicly, is also following a policy of diplomatically isolating Pakistan for what it has done, is actually a continuing of existing policy, but taken further one more step. I hope it works,” Menon said.

In his book ‘Choices: Inside the making of India’s Foreign Policy’, released at the Brookings Institute last week, Menon writes that in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack, the then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and he as the foreign secretary had strongly pushed for immediate retaliatory strikes inside Pakistan and Pak-occupied Kashmir (Pok) which did not happen.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Oct 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm
    Intelligence and stupidity as also closed mind set does not belong to any caste or cl , Ritik. Learn something new. Grow up, man
    1. A
      Oct 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm
      Mr Melon, you have seen the starters only. All diplomatic niceties have failed with s. All of you have frittered away the chances of reducing risks. Today a real down to earth man, Shut Dover is in a place normally occupied by Bureaucrats who do not know or appreciate ground realities. lt;br/gt;Sorry, but in the short term the incursions will increase. But in the medium and long term they would cease. stan is a pariah today with none except China supporting it. Two or three attacks by Muslim Militants in China will change that. Baluchi rebels will ensure that China's trade dream is curtailed. So, in a few months China s axis will not be active. What you people could not do in 60.years the present Govt has done in three years. Please learn to appreciate reality, Menon Saheb !!!
    2. G
      G B
      Oct 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm
      Shiv Shankar Menon, former NSA of UPA regime, obviously toes the Congress Party line. Having served on the LOC and baptized fire, SS Menon is living a fools paradise to suggest that the LOC could be pacified and infiltration minimized. Just simple stupdity to expect such retruns. SS Menon knows very well that infiltration of terrorist groups from stan takes place through sea (Mumbai strike) air (Nepal and the Gulf nations) and land routes along the entire stretch of border. He should stop from misguiding people of India having failed to resolve the crisis during his tenure.
      1. D
        Dr Harry
        Oct 12, 2016 at 12:51 pm
        Former ineffectual NSA!
        1. A
          Ashok Mazumdar
          Oct 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm
          Absolutely Correct- Shiv Shankar ji.
          1. M
            Oct 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm
            Yes he is correct. cross border terrorism seems to be on rise after the Politicians parrikar rajnath Modi chest pumped surgical strikes. further ours solders, loss of Parents lost their son's life children lost their dad's life, wife lost their husbands life, may be increased because of this chest thumping.
            1. P
              Oct 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm
              surgical strikes in indian context is like retaliation to curb the enemy. Any responsible government of the hour has to do it. we are all proud of our Armed forces who successfully retaliated braving the hostilities. For all these actions there is no need of big publicity by any government. lt;br/gt;Do we boost for taking care of children and wife? . It is the duty and responsibility of the government of the hour to take appropriate decisions prudent to the situation. Let us not reticule each other and try to blame one government or the other we all should stand united at this hour. Jai Hind
              1. M
                Oct 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm
                of course-if this article is anything to go by - he forgets the funda's -writes "should be managed " the is not getting hurt -it is India which is dying by a 'thousand bleeds" over the years but for the it is' not an existential threat to India'...sitting happy and safe like chidu can comment ..i live faraway but feel for india..why not indians I wonder??
                1. Load More Comments