The latest issue of Organiser has an insightful analysis of the Kargil war by General V P Malik, who was the Chief of Army Staff during the conflict. “Have We Learnt the Lessons?”, he asks and flags half-a-dozen lessons from the 1999 war.
One, as long as there are territorial disputes, as India has with China and Pakistan, the adversary can indulge in a proxy or a limited convention war. Two, there being a reluctance on the part of India to adopt a pro-active strategy, it is essential for the country to have credible strategic and tactical intelligence, effective surveillance and a close defence of the border.
Three, a credible deterrence may prevent a war and thus give more room for manoeuvre in diplomacy and conflict. Four, “the new strategic environment calls for faster decision-making, versatile combat organisations, rapid deployment and synergy amongst all elements involved in the war effort, particularly the three services”. Five, “it is essential to keep the military leadership within the security and strategic decision-making loop.” Six, “the political requirement of a military operation and to retain moral high ground (and deny that to the adversary), the country needs a comprehensive media and information strategy.”
In conclusion, General Malik writes: “An enduring lesson of Kargil war, indeed most wars, is that for national security, sound defence enables sound domestic and foreign policies.”
There have been a series of important developments vis-a-vis Pakistan — the International Court of Justice verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the re-opening of air space for Indian aircraft and the removal of Khalistan-supporter, Gopal Chawla, from the Kartarpur committee. The natural question, therefore, is: Will Islamabad “mend its behaviour and not allow its soil to breed terrorism, especially against Bharat?” “No!” says Prafulla Ketkar, editor of Organiser, in a signed editorial.
“The very existence of Pakistan,” according to Ketkar, “is dependent on an anti-Bharat narrative.” The military is the torchbearer of that philosophy. Unless there is a change from within and Pakistan as a society shows a clear sign of reversing the trend and construct a positive idea of existence, there is no reason to believe the little bit of softening and succumbing to pressure.
“Pakistan has deceived the world many times, and after the Lahore Bus initiative, Kargil was the clear case of deception and betrayal,” the editorial argues.
The Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict has proven that Pakistan is a violator of the Geneva Convention. The human rights record and the hypocrisy of the military-run kangaroo courts in Pakistan have also been exposed.
The directive to ensure a free and fair trial to Jadhav along with consular access has not only vindicated India’s stance, but also proved that the systems in Pakistan are not in tune with international standards. Similarly, the arrest of Hafiz Saeed by Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department is acknowledgment that the Mumbai attack mastermind is a terrorist.
Media in crosswire
Panchjanya’s editorial is a critique of clumsy reporting in the media. It claims that certain news cause a lot of noise because it is spiced up by the media.
The editorial cites reports concerning the opposition of an upper caste BJP MLA from UP to his daughter’s marriage to a Dalit as evidence. The editorial claims that the legislator’s objection to the inter-caste marriage was on account of the age difference between the bride and the bridegroom. The editorial wonders why the MLA was targeted, which was tantamount to targeting a “Hindu”. It also discusses an instance of some Muslim barbers in Moradabad refusing to render their services to Scheduled Castes. “The media is not interested in this open display of hatred for scheduled castes,” the editorial says. Three other incidents of discrimination and violence against Hindus by Muslims are also discussed. “The anti-Hindu attitude of the Lutyens and Khan Market media has been exposed by its exclusion of news reflecting the pain of Hindus of Kerala, West Bengal and Kashmir from newspaper pages and TV screens,” the editorial claims.
(Compiled by Pradeep Kaushal)