One strike or two will not change Pakistan: Lt Gen DS Hooda

NEW DELHI: Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd) under whose charge the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes in September 2016, on Sunday said Pakistan’s behaviour will not change with one surgical strike or an airstrike.

One strike or two will not change Pakistan: Lt Gen DS Hooda

Lieutenant General (retired) DS Hooda addresses a press conference at AICC headquarters in New Delhi. Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh are also seen. PTI

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 21

Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd) under whose charge the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes in September 2016, on Sunday said Pakistan’s behaviour will not change with one surgical strike or an airstrike.

He predicted a challenge India faces with the rise of China and suggested demarcating the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — the de facto 3488 km boundary between the two nations. 

On Pakistan he said, “One odd surgical strike or air strike can’t change Pakistan’s behaviour.”

General Hooda was speaking on the salient features of “Beyond Politics: Debating a new Security Manifesto” — a report which he made for the Congress party. 

The discussion was organised by think-tank Observer Research Organisation (ORF) in the national capital. 

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who was present at the discussion, said, “War is not an option. We build armies to not win a war but avoid a war. We must find a way to normalise relations with Pakistan. If we need to change behaviour of Pakistan we need to change our behaviour towards them.” 

If we both demonise each other we can never put an end to these killings or infiltrations, he said. 

“How is your policy a success if in 2018 there has been highest number of killings of military personnel and civilians,” he questioned. 

Briefing about the report, General Hooda said we have not ruled out the military option with Pakistan and we have not ruled out dialogue but that needs to have visible results.  

This is not a perfect document, General Hooda said, adding our hope was to start a debate and thanked the Congress party for initiating this. 

The document has spoken about how to manage ties with US, Russia and China.

“Our biggest challenge is the rise of China. There is going to be long-term strategic engagement between the two.”

Growing trade cannot alone sort out matters and suggested that we need to convey to China about sanctity of our borders and our strategic interests in the Indian Ocean.

“Demarcating the LAC is one option,” he said.

There is a weakness as our infrastructure along LAC is poor, Hooda said.

Talking about the core points of the report, he said it refers to the following, “Assuming our rightful place in global affairs; achieving a secure neighbourhood; peaceful resolution of internal conflicts; protecting our people and the need to strengthen our capabilities.”  

The report suggests integration of the Ministry of Defence. The budget has to be based on a capability development plan, climatic change, demographic pressures and economic security and energy security. 

“India should look for role in international decision making structures,” the report said. 

Speaking about Jammu and Kashmir, General Hooda said we need to tackle internal and external dimension.

“Have empathic approach, have a clearly defined political objective and well created information campaign,” Hooda said, who was the Northern Army Commander.  

Chidambaram said if the Congress party is voted to power it will implement it. 

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