Modi’s impractical election-time war rhetoric on Pakistan returns to
haunt him now

4 hours ago
Updated 4 hours ago

Shoaib Daniyal

Huff and puff
To understand Narendra Modi’s original stance on Pakistan, one needs
to watch an interview he gave to TV journalist Rajat Sharma in 2011.
In it, Modi raged about our neighbour, calling it an “enemy country”
and a nation of “expert liars”. He ridiculed the United Progressive
Alliance government’s policy of trying to talk peace with Pakistan and
hinted that if it were up to him, he would use force to respond to the
26/11 attack on Mumbai and other terror operations emanating from
Pakistan. “A neighbour hits you and in response you go to America!” he
said. “Why don’t you go to Pakistan instead? It needs to be replied
back in its own coin. Stop writing love letters to Pakistan.”

This was not new for Modi. In 2008, while the attacks on Mumbai were
on, he had held a press conference criticising the government for

Modi won a historic mandate in May 2104 and was elected prime minister
for precisely such rhetoric. And then, of course the fact that
rhetoric is not governance hit home.

Since Modi has come to power, militants, allegedly backed by the
Pakistan establishment, have targeted India again and again. On
Sunday, a group of militants attacked an army base in Uri. Earlier, in
January, militants launched an assault on an Indian Air Force base in
Pathankot. In July 2015, even a police station in Gurdaspur was

The fact that Pakistan-backed militant can so easily hit at hard
targets such as army bases is an abysmal failure of the government.

Meanwhile, for all practical purposes, the Modi government has fallen
back on the Manmohan Singh government’s policy of strategic restrain.
On Wednesday, India asked Pakistan to act against terror and offered
to share information on the Uri attack.

Of course, this policy of the Modi government is practical and
level-headed. War in nuclear South Asia is a terrifying prospect.
However, the other option of simply sitting by as Pakistan’s deep
state hits India at will also does not exist. Uri, for example, points
to glaring lapses in security: militants simply walked the 150 metres
from the Line of Control unchallenged. Why were there weaknesses not

Instead of grandstanding on Pakistan, the BJP-led government should
concentrate on the real work of protecting India, her borders and the
lives of her peoples. It is unglamorous work and it is far easier to
simply talk war. But given how impractical war actually is, constantly
making threats that India can’t keep ends up making the country look


Yes you heard it right, Arnab Goswami ‘blames’ Manmohan Singh for Uri attacks

Written by Rifat Jawaid | Published on: September 20, 2016

On Monday Sepoy K Vikas Janardhan, became the 18th solider to fall
victim to the terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

Two other critically injured soldiers have also been airlifted to the
military hospital in Delhi.

17 soldiers were killed in the attack on Sunday, while about 23 others injured.

The terror attack in Uri has left Indians shocked and enraged with
many demanding firm action against Pakistan. Others on social media
have been quick to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting
the perceived hypocrisy in his hawkish approach against the
neighbouring country that he adopted during the Lok Sabha elections of

MUMBAI, INDIA ? APRIL 03: Arnab Goswami, Indian Journalist, Editor in
Chief and News anchor of the news channel Times Now at his office in
Mumbai.(Photo by Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images)

But the questions seeking to expose Modi’s stand, adopted to win
elections, largely remained confined to social media users as none in
the mainstream media could muster the courage to put the Centre’s
BJP-led government in the dock on what was the worst terror attack for
over a decade.

‘Patriots’ amongst us desperately looked at the ‘nationalist’ news
channel Times Now to represent general public’s anger on its
high-profile debate show Newshour, presented by the nation’s
conscience-keeper, Arnab Goswami.
Goswami remained true to himself and did host a special debate show
despite it being a Sunday. His guests included the usual suspects, Lt
Gen (Retd) Jaiswal, Times Now’s resident expert Maroof Raza, former
army general and now the RSS’ posterboy, Maj General GD Bakshi and
former India diplomat G Parthasarathy.

The dominating theme of the debate was that India must attack Pakistan
without caring much about the nuclear reactions from the neighbouring

Another highlight of the debate was a unanimous praise for Narendra
Modi government for using the ‘strongest’ condemnation of the terror
strike yet.

In Raza’s words, ‘I don’t think that there’s been such clarity of
intent (by the central government.)’

But, the killer blow came from Goswami, who blamed the former prime
minister, Manmohan Singh, for Uri attack. Yes, you heard it right.
According to the nation’s most patriotic journalist, the Uri attack
was a fallout of the ‘biggest blunder’ by the former prime minister.

This is what India’s ‘second most popular hero’ after Modi had to say.

“My personal greatest frustration has been with the long-rope theory.
And I don’t know why the people, when you say stop engaging with
Pakistan, say ‘you are a hawk.’ But Parthasarathy will remember that
the greatest mistake Manmohan Singh made was that he went and met
Nawaz Sharif for one hour in a New York hotel on 29 September 2013,
just days after the twin attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and

Fantastic observation indeed! Many would argue why the Times Now’s
editor-in-chief, who had recently received social media roasting for
his ‘fixed’ interview with Modi, stopped at Singh. He ought to have
blamed all non-BJP prime ministers going as far back as Nehru era for
the alarming increase in terror attacks under Modi government. I mean
blame everyone except Modi for the present mess.

Goswami also appeared to have forgotten that Pakistan-backed militants
had mounted an audacious attack on India’s Air Force base in Pathankot
earlier this year. This was barely a week after Modi had chosen to
stop over in Lahore to enjoy the birthday bash organised by his
Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.

For Goswami, this too may have been a diplomatic masterstroke. Of
course, Goswami did not find fault in Modi’s foreign policy when he
invited the Pakistani delegation consisting of ISI officers to visit
the Pathankot air base.

Instead of reminding Modi and BJP President, Amit Shah, for their tall
claims made against Pakistan during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,
Goswami made several desperate attempts to exonerate the current prime
minister on the Uri attacks on Sunday.

If one ever needed an example of an utterly biased piece of journalism
by Goswami on his ‘nation’s favourite channel’, they need not look
beyond Sunday’s Newshour debate on the Uri attacks.

You can watch the ‘historic’ Times Now debate below (Goswami’s gem
appears 18 minutes onwards)


Peace Is Doable

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