By Raj Ratan Pal
The barbaric act of Pakistan Army, which crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and killed two of Indian soldiers — beheading one of them — is reprehensible. It has jeopardized the already insecure and fragile bilateral relations between New Delhi and Islamabad.
In fact, the entire nation is justifiably incensed over the brutality of the Pakistani Army.
Pakistan cannot fool the international community any more. Global custodians of peace can no longer overlook Pakistan’s transgressions for the sake of geopolitics. India should not only protest but also put the Pakistani leadership on notice.
The confidence-building efforts by liberals on both sides over the years have failed to inspire hawkish elements, which are making peaceful coexistence a mirage.
Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh’s response that India reserves the right to retaliate at a “time and place of its choice” is more appropriate. That the Pakistan Army has resorted to such monstrous acts in the past and got away with them reflects poorly on India’s political leadership. While we need to eschew any disproportionate response, the local army commanders must be given the freedom to respond appropriately to any unprovoked action by the Pakistan Army.
Angry BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s reported statement that if India cannot get back the head of the beheaded jawan, it should get at least 10 heads from Pakistan is irresponsible, especially because it comes from the Leader of the Opposition.
People across the length and breadth of India are demanding strong retaliatory action against Pakistan. India’s anger is justified. But retaliatory action certainly does not mean the heads of 10 Pakistani soldiers. Inflammable statements are unwarranted at this point of time. An eye-for-an-eye is not in India’s tradition because it is not a rogue nation. I am sure plans are in place on the drawing boards of the Indian Army. One hopes Pakistan will be taught a fitting lesson.
We want stern action against Pakistan. If we strike now, we will only send more soldiers to uncertainty. Poor front-line soldiers, who never get respect in the army or in civil life, will die in vain. People of both Pakistan and India want peace. Only a few game-players with vested interests want the peace process to fail. Poor soldiers should not become victims of the game.