On a day of fast- moving developments following the strikes conducted by the Indian Special Forces on terror launch pads across the Line of Control, the BJP-led NDA government swung into action on Thursday to gather domestic and international support for its action.
With most opposition parties publicly supporting the military action, and congratulating the armed forces, even promising future cooperation on matters of national security — and no signs of international disapproval as yet —the government appeared to be placed in a comfortable position.
If there was a note of caution, it came from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: she voiced grave concern over the escalation of the situation along the border and warned that confrontation could lead to a “disaster of epic proportions” for the State.
She called for restraint and de-escalation of the “war-like situation,” and said India and Pakistan must open channels of communication.
Modi briefs Manmohan
Earlier in the day, realising the importance of creating a national consensus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi briefed his predecessor Manmohan Singh and followed it up with a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
The CCS is understood to have discussed various options related to the Line of Control (LoC) in the wake of the Uri attack, and taken stock of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts. After this, the Director-General Military Operations and the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs made a public announcement on the action.
Simultaneously, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up the Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal to inform them of the action.
In Gujarat, fishermen were warned not to go close to the international maritime boundary line on the coast.
Sonia’s pat for Army
The principal opposition party, the Congress, was particularly forthcoming in its message of support.
Party president Sonia Gandhi congratulated the armed forces “on the success of the operation” and offered the Congress’s support “to the Government in our country’s continuing battle against cross-border terrorism.”
At the all-party meeting, chaired by Mr. Rajnath Singh, the DGMO gave a detailed briefing on the surgical strikes. An opposition leader who attended the meeting later told The Hindu: “All opposition parties spoke in one voice, and said they would support the government on any such action. They said there was need for total alertness to anticipate any retaliatory action by Pakistan and stressed the need to give a free hand to the military.”
Those who attended the meeting included Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), C.M. Ramesh (TDP), Prem Chand Gupta (RJD) and NDA ally Ram Vilas Paswan (LJSP).
Source: The Hindu