No laughing matter either
By Faraz Ahmad
Sharm unko magar nahin aati
Even as top personnel of Indian armed forces along with Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar were telling the Parliamentary panel on Defence that this was not the first time Indian army personnel had gone across the Pakistani border and smashed terror outfits in Pakistani territory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was telling a public meeting in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh that the only parallel to the Indian “surgical strike” of September 29 could possibly be the Israeli armed forces storming the Entebbe airport in Uganda to release the Israeli hostages with Palestinian militants there, more than 40 years ago.
For more than a fortnight the Prime Minister and his drum beaters both in his Government and his Chaddi party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been thumping their chest of how they taught Pakistan a lesson to impress upon it to desist from patronizing the terrorists. They have persisted with the lie that this could happen only because of Swayamsevak Pracharak Modi leading the nation, stated Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Never mind that the Army keeps reminding us that it has conducted such operations earlier too. And to make it worse any recall of that is being made out to be an anti-national act.
The Prime Minister compared the September 29 operation in which we killed two Pakistani armed personnel and left behind one in Pakistan’s custody, to the Israeli troops storming at Entebbe airport in July, 1976 wherein Israeli storm troopers killed all the four hijackers, along with 45 Ugandan soldiers and destroyed 30 Ugandan air force planes.
No denigration of our Jawans who surely risked their lives even if they went only in a little inside Pakistan territory to attack the Pakistani security personnel in retaliation of Uri. But to compare this to Entebbe is height of exaggeration.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar credited this to his and Modi’s upbringing in the RSS. For once I must agree with him. It is only training in the Sangh which could teach you to brazen it so blatantly. Actually the Sangh, a fascist outfit from the day of its inception close to a century ago learnt many things from German and Italian fascists including this Goebbelsian tactic of being blasé.
We would have been happy to call this a surgical strike had we made so bold as to go and get Hafiz Saeed or Masood Azhar whom we released from a Kashmir prison under duress from Indian Airlines hijackers. That would have been an operation worth commending and gloating about. That would have justified comparing with the Israeli storm troopers of 1976 or the US marines’ plucking away Osama from Abbbotabad next to Pak Air Force base. Actually even the Osama operation does not qualify for a surgical strike because there was no way the US could conduct that operation without the knowledge and tacit support of the Pak military establishment.
So if the Prime Minister and Defence really want to show some muscle they better target Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar and a host of them and let me assure them they will not only earn our admiration but even a whole lot of Pakistanis including many in the establishment who are sick and tired of these elements running their private militia on the pretext of Jihad.
In the meantime it would do the Prime Minister and his drum beaters some good to keep a count of how many terror attacks have taken place in the vicinity of Uri since September 29 and tell the world in his next Mann ki Baat how far these so-called surgical strikes have deterred the terrorists from across the border.