Haracharanjit Singh Panag, a decorated officer of the Indian army who served in the army and even went onto become the GOC-in-C of the important Northern and the Central commands but it appears that the soldier who once had the body and nerves of iron has started to get a bit rusty.
The retired Lieutenant General Panag has been quite vocal about the issues that plague the army but has never suggested any concrete measures to rectify them apart from some vague and broad headlines about which we all know.
The Lt. Gen. Panag is also silent about what he did and tried to do away with these infirmities when he was in the chair.
This time around he sparked a controversy stating that the image of Farooq Ahmed Dar who was paraded by the army tied to a jeep as a shield from the stone pelters will haunt the conscience of the Indian army again maintaining how and why should it haunt the army.
The army has resorted to unconventional techniques in an unconventional terrain of war wherein its enemies were leveraging a moral high point owing to the superiority of the Indian army in the scope of retaliation.
The retired Lt.Gen. Panag is again silent on how the army could have dealt with these trouble makers by using alternative methods.
It is always very easy to pinpoint the fingers and play the blame game. It takes courage to come up with solutions.
We mean no disrespect to an officer as accomplished as Lt. Gen. Panag, but shouldn’t he understand that it has been quite some time since he retired from the post and this game of killing India by inflicting a thousand wounds is getting evolved with every passing day. There was no stone pelting and obstruction in army’s operations when he was in the army but it is happening now. And at an alarming frequency.
The demographics of the combating Jehadis has changed. Their weapons have changed. We cannot behave like a sitting duck against these aggressive militias and continue with age old strategies.
Lt. Gen. Panag would have come across as a more diligent critique had he shared alternate strategies apart from dialogue with the sponsored separatists and an Armistice like he usually does in his essays and columns. A ceasefire looks more sensible when it takes place at the borders in case of trans border belligerence and when the enemy is comparable with us.
We cannot carryout any Armistice with internal belligerents against whom we enjoy superiority in men and material. Any peace with them gives them a breather, a reprieve to recollect and again fight it out.
We have succeeded in Punjab and Mizoram by using these strong armed police against militants. Sri Lanka succeeded in eliminating LTTE which was the most advanced terrorist organisation ever. There should not be any doubt in the capacities of our army that we cannot wipe out insurgency from Kashmir and duly reclaim what is ours.