Surgical strike to eliminate Masood Azhar or Paswan’s pipedream?

While Ram Vilas Paswan’s opinion does not matter in defence affairs, such a statement will be blown out of proportion in Pakistan, and used against India in diplomacy

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Paswan

Patna: Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday said that even after the United Nations Security Council declaration that Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is a global terrorist if he does not stop his terrorist activities, his story may end like that of Osama bin Laden. And no country will object to this, the minister said.

Addressing reporters in Patna, Paswan said that China had been continuously vetoing the case of Masood Azhar. Now, it is a great achievement of the Narendra Modi government, Paswan said, that China turned around in support of India.

Paswan pointed at the opposition’s refusal to accept Modi’s achievement, saying that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did not fight against Bangladesh in 1971 herself but her name is recalled for that victory.

Paswan said that if Masood Azhar still misbehaves, the terrorist could be eliminated as the US eliminated Osama bin Laden. He added that no country would object to India doing anything like that because Azhar is a terrorist and he is banned, too.

Paswan said that if the present government does not take retaliatory action against the terrorist strike on CRPF jawans in Pulwama, the opposition would have questioned that “inaction” too.

The minister said that the airstrikes on Balakot to avenge Pulwama and the support of the whole world to India are not minor matters. He said that the action taken against the terrorists during the tenure of the present NDA government has enhanced the nation’s glory.

Editor’s note

All the assertions of Paswan in this regard may be true except for the hint that Masood Azhar could be killed the way Osama bin Laden was. This is not to doubt the capability of the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force. It would be unfair to do so after the surgical strike and the Balakot airstrike and also the fact that our vintage MiG-21 Bison can take down the latest F-16 of Pakistan. The first problem with the jingoistic claim is that such measures are never announced beforehand. It heightens the tension between India and Pakistan while also alerting the latter if at all such a measure is taken.

Second, surgical strikes of the cross-LoC type by India or the Abbottabad style by the US are not the only ways of eliminating a terrorist housed in hostile territory. There are also international precedents of the Israeli Mossad style.

Three, while Paswan’s opinion does not matter in defence affairs of India, any such statement will be blown out of proportion in Pakistan, and used against India in diplomatic circles.