Free Press Journal

Never used Army for political gains: Manohar Parrikar


New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said he had never used the Army for political gains, adding that the success of the September 28-29 surgical strikes made others “jealous”.

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“I never used the Army on a political platform. All I have said is that we took a decision. You can call it good or bad… surgical strike took place, the status quo of not crossing the LoC (Line of Control) was rejected.

“Only the forces can cross the border, not political leadership; but this decision, whether good or bad, the marks should be given to political leadership,” Parrikar said at the ‘Agenda Aaj Tak 2016’ conclave here.

“Had something gone wrong, I don’t think anyone would have said anything but that it was an ill-managed operation, political leadership was not prepared, there was a shortage of bulletproof helmets or jackets,” he said.

“There are many fathers of success and few of failure. There was success, so everyone was jealous that the government would get credit,” the minister said.

Parrikar said during the surgical strikes — across the LoC on September 28-29 and one earlier along the Myanmar border — he could not sleep all night.

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“I didn’t sleep the whole night when the eastern operation was underway. The pressure of decision-making was definitely on me,” he said.

The Minister said the government “introduced unpredictability on the Kashmir border for the first time”.