Surgical strike: Cong fields ex-servicemen to target PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the 'Parakram Parv' celebrations, in Jodhpur on Friday. PTI

Congress fielded a battery of ex-servicemen to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “using the blood and sacrifice” of armed forces for political gains as the three-day celebration of Parakram Parv (second anniversary of surgical strikes) began on Friday.

The ex-servicemen demanded the implementation of the 'one rank, one pension' scheme “without dilution”, questioned the low expenditure on defence in terms of percentage of the GDP and pressed for celebration of December 16 – the day when 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before the Indian Army in 1971 – as a 'National Day'.

The refrain of the ex-servicemen was that though the 'surgical strike' of September 28-29, 2016 was a “very good operation”, similar actions had been carried out on earlier occasions.

“If you are using the valour of the armed forces for political gains, you are doing grave injustice to the soldiers,” Major General Satbir Singh (retd.), leader of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said at a press conference at the Congress headquarters here.

Colonel Rohit Chaudhary (retd.) also attacked the Modi government over the increase in violations along the Line of Control and the international border. “If you are really concerned about national security, you will have to increase defence expenditure from the current 1.5% of the GDP. China spends 5% of its GDP on defence, while Pakistan spends 3.5%,” Chaudhary said.

Surjewala said the armed forces have been carrying out surgical strikes over the past two decades and recounted at least eight instances when the armed forces had conducted such operations along the borders in Jammu & Kashmir.

He accused Modi and the BJP of “always using” the “blood and sacrifice” of the armed forces as a “tool to garner votes”.

Surjewala said the Modi government had compromised national security and betrayed national interests over the last four-and-a-half years. “Lack of political action and policy has led to a disquiet border and an alarming internal security situation,” the Congress leader said.

He said Modi had failed to consolidate on the surgical strikes of September 2016 as 1604 ceasefire violations have been reported after that in which 29 security personnel have lost their lives.

 

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Surgical strike: Cong fields ex-servicemen to target PM

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