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Major Embarrassment For Modi Govt: General Who Led Surgical Strikes Operation Says Overhype Did Not Help

It is not good when military is politicised: Lt Gen (retired) D S Hooda

The Modi government was busy chest-thumping after the surgical strikes were carried out on terror launch pads along the Line of Control on September 29, 2016. No opportunity was missed to highlight the military machismo. On Friday, Lt General (retired) D S Hooda, who was the then Northern Army Commander, pointed out that the  “overhype” of the strikes did not help.

Hooda said that there were accusations that the surgical strikes issue was politicised and that there was an “attempt to keep a purely military operation in the political domain by selective leaks of videos, photographs etc,” Indian Express reported.

“Did the overhype help? I say, completely no. If you start having political resonance in military operations, it is not good. There was too much political banter, on both sides, and when military operations get politicised, that is not good,” he said while moderating a discussion on the ‘Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes’ at the ongoing Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh.

When asked about the possibility of the strikes impacting the thought process of decision-makers in future operations, Hooda noted that “if you hype a successful operation, then even success has its burden.”

“Will we think next time (what) if there are casualties? Because it has been so overhyped, will it impose caution on leadership? What happens if it does not have the same level of success? It may impose some caution in future. If we had done it quietly, it would have been much better,” he added. Hooda also underlined that no politician was involved in the planning or execution of the strikes.

Noteworthy, Modi government also held various events across the country to mark the second anniversary of the surgical strikes from September 28-30 this year. The former Army commander, hence, made it amply clear that the government’s overzealous celebrations and politicisation of the matter has done more harm than good.

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