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.