Some Indian media houses advocate restraint; advise anti-Pakistan lobbying instead of military reprisals; question security lapses
LAHORE: As condemnations continue to pour in against the recent attack on an Indian Army camp in Held Kashmir, media houses in the world’s largest democracy are prominently and religiously highlighting the reactions of world leaders in this context.
Here follow the views of the global leaders, which Indian media houses like the NDTV, Indian Express, Zee News and Times of India etc have carried in their reports:
France: A French Foreign Ministry statement said: “France most firmly condemns the terrible terrorist attack perpetrated on 18 September against an Indian army camp in the region of Kashmir. It conveys its condolences to the families of the 17 Indian soldiers killed in this attack. France remains on India’s side in the combat against terrorism. It calls on every state to fight effectively against terrorist groups operating on their territory or from their territory against other countries.”
United States: The US statement issued by State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir…We extend our condolences to the victims and their families. The United States is committed to our strong partnership with the Indian government to combat terrorism.”
United Kingdom: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “I offer my deepest condolences to the victims and their families and friends. The UK condemns all forms of terrorism, and stands shoulder to shoulder with India in the fight against terrorism, and in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
US ambassador to India, Richard Verma had tweeted: “We strongly condemn the terror attack in Uri, J&K. Our thoughts are with the families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives.”
“The United Nations is following developments closely and shares the concerns of people living in the region for peace.”
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro:
“We are committed along with our brotherly people of the world to get into the depth of this problem that has generated proliferation of terrorist movements, which doesn’t respect life and the need for coexistence of people.”
Here are 10 quotes on the Uri attack from prominent political leaders.
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
“I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished.”
2. President Pranab Mukherjee
“Strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack on Army base in Uri. India will not be cowed down by such attacks. We will thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers.”
3. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
“I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups. Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such. There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators of Uri attack were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.”
4. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
“The Uri terror attack is a highly condemnable act of cowardice. A salute to our soldiers who gave the supreme sacrifice to protect the motherland. The perpetrators of Uri terror attack shall be punished.”
5. Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister (IHK)
“The attack seems to be aimed at triggering fresh violence, and creating a war-like situation in the region. J&K has always been worst victim of Indo-Pak hostility, and its people have been paying a colossal price for same for over six decades.”
6. Congress President Sonia Gandhi
“The attack is a deplorable affront on our national conscience. Hope that the perpetrators of this dastardly attack and the forces behind them will be severely dealt with and brought to book.”
7. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi
“I strongly condemn the militant attack on Army base in Uri. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the brave-hearts martyred in the attack.”
8. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM and Convenor AAP
“I strongly condemn cowardly attack at Uri in which 17 soldiers lost their lives. India cannot be cowed down by such attacks.”
9. Hansraj Ahit, MoS Home Affairs
“Pakistan is irritated at the moment, because they failed in their attempt to execute such an activity here on Eid. We will not tolerate such things and will not do so in the future. We will give an appropriate response.”
10. Jitendra Singh, MoS
“The only way to tackle this is by sending strong a message to Pakistan. We have made blunders by trusting Pakistan in the past. The government should stop the diplomacy of sarees, biryanis, sweets and shawls. It should send a hard hitting message to Pakistan instead.
Meanwhile, a prestigious section of Indian Press---strangely playing doves---has urged its government to stress more on international lobbying against Pakistan instead of taking any military options.
For example, the “Hindustan Times” has stated: “This is a serious moment in India-Pakistan ties. Every step — and mode of signaling — will have a bearing on whether the situation escalates or defuses. There are five things that the government can do in a crisis situation like this.
1 Avoid the crowd. Frenzied reactions on social media that call for a hard line response in line with the establishment’s instincts can be heady and gratifying, but they can also be misleading and often not in the country’s interest. A descent into instability is not what India needs, not least its economy.
2 Understand the strategic consensus that there are no easy military options. Measures like surgical air strikes on militant camps, covert action and lining up troops on the border are either difficult to execute or run the risk of escalating conflict, not a sight that the international community or financial markets will respond encouragingly to. It’s worth noting that even conservative Indian hawks who push for immediate reprisals are not very forthcoming about specifics.
3 India is better off focusing its energies elsewhere. It will need to unravel the forces responsible for the attack and continue efforts to rally international opinion against Pakistan. The diplomatic and institutional battle to project Pakistan-based terrorists as threats to global security is an ongoing process and Delhi will need a set of deliverables that the international community can work towards in order to exert more pressure on Islamabad. These will be more effective in the long-term than merely condemnatory statements at international fora.
4 There is no getting away from the fact that Uri was a serious security lapse. How a camp so close to the Line of Control was so vulnerable must be examined and questions asked about steps taken at military installations after the attack at Pathankot.
5 There is, not least, the crisis in Kashmir to attend to — which is the context in which Uri happened. The Centre needs a strategy that protects security forces from militants and it needs a political strategy that addresses the ongoing unrest. The Centre’s use of force to quell protests has clearly been counterproductive. There is an inordinate emphasis nowadays on the need to be aggressive in our response to challenges. In the process of being muscular, India must not lose sight of its equities and squander its strengths.”
On the other hand, leading Indian television channels like the “Zee News” are talking more about the security lapses.
The “Zee News” has reported: “A day after seventeen brave jawans were killed in the dastardly attack carried out allegedly by Jaish-e-Mohammad militants in an Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, reports now point to major lapses in the security arrangements which enabled the four terrorists to sneak inside and unleash mayhem. According to a Times of India report, the security agencies are now probing two-point breach in the security to determine how terrorists got inside the army camp and opened fire at soldiers who were sleeping at the time of attack.”
The TV channel has added: “As per the report, the agencies suspect that the first breech in security occurred at the Line of Control (LoC) at Uri, and the second at the perimeter of the Army base that saw the fencing wire being cut. The two lapses, the security agencies believe, helped the suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad fidayeen access the heavily-guarded camp and execute one of the deadliest suicide attacks in J&K. While the investigators point to the role of a 'mole' in helping the Uri attack mastermind, they have reasons to believe that the attackers were fully aware of the camp's layout and knew their way around. One of the initial findings – the sentry on duty were not sufficiently alert - is believed to have been discussed during the review meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.”
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