Modi Government is totally confused about which direction it wants to take its foreign policy especially towards our neighbors.

Loksabha Fri, 16 Dec 2016

Modi Government is totally confused about which direction it wants to take its foreign policy especially towards our neighbors.

 Modi Government is totally confused about which direction it wants to take its foreign policy especially towards our neighbors.

We have written in these columns that the Modi Government is totally confused about which direction it wants to take its foreign policy especially towards our neighbors.  Our relationship with our neighbor Pakistan has hit the nadir and the government besides its periodic chest thumping has no clue how to solve this. 

We are lucky that our armed forces, that are counted amongst the Worlds best Forces have not lost their morale and bravely continue to defend our borders. The surveillance at the border that needs technical up-gradation due to the nature of the terrain and its size has not found favor with the Modi government as it lets the lives of our soldiers remain at a constant risk.  

The Army has always defended our borders with courage and valor and has given befitting replies to the attempts of Pakistan to create intrusions. Of course no one has boasted about this ever before as its something that they do as a strategy to defend. But the government trying to gain popularity in the eyes of national audience made an announcement about having carried out a ‘Surgical Strike’ and tried to claim as if it was the first for the Army. It was said that it would be a befitting warning to the intruders who would think again before carrying out an intrusion. The facts have belied this. The number of intrusions and terrorist’s attacks have multiplied by the dozen and we have sacrificed our officers and jawans in large numbers more than ever before. 

Security forces have taken more fatal and nonfatal casualties this year, with 71 killed and 208 personnel injured till November 27, as against 39 and 103 respectively in 2015, Home ministry has said 437 ceasefire violations were reported this year in J&K until November 30, up from 405 in 2015. Of the 437 violations this year, 221 took place on the international border manned by BSF and 216 along the Line of Control guarded by the Army. The corresponding figures in 2015 were 253 violations on the international border and 152 on the LoC. The ceasefire violations this year resulted in killing of 12 civilians and injuries to 80 others, apart from leaving 111 houses/structures damaged as on November 7, 2016. While eight Army personnel were killed and 74 injured till November 26 (as against six killed and 17 injured in 2015), the BSF suffered five fatal and 25 non-fatal casualties till November 30 this year. 

 The Government needs to have a consistent and viable policy towards the neighbors who for the reasons of geography cannot be wished away. We are aware of the political causes that lead to these attacks and we know that there are elements in Pakistan, sponsored by the state which are inimical to India. Despite all that we have to make sure that we are able to lead towards peace and tranquility. The lives of thousand of our citizens on our side of the border remain disturbed constantly. The ceasefire violations this year temporarily displaced 27,449 people in J&K as they shifted to safer locations following the surgical strikes. We need to ensure their safety. 

 It is time that the Government took various parties and people into confidence and consult all stakeholders to evolve a consistent policy towards the relations with our neighbours. This is a long term issue and cannot be handled on the whims and fancies of Government and its whimsical leadership which knows only to play to the galleries.