Parrikar: No War in Decades, Respect for Army Has Diminished’

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NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that the Indian army’s importance had diminished, because it hadn’t been at war in 40-50 years. 

However, perhaps stung by his gaffes in the past, Parrikar was quick to add that he was not endorsing a war.

According to Hindustan Times, Parrikar said that soldiers were facing ‘immense difficulties’ because ‘people’s respect for the army has reduced during peacetime’. Parrikar was speaking at a seminar in Jaipur where information and broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was also present.

“I have written to many chief ministers (over defence matters). Some have acted on it and at many places it (response) has ended. The primary reason for this is that we have not been to war for 40-50 years. I don’t mean to say that we should go to war. I mean to say that without war the army’s importance has diminished.”

He said two generations of officers have retired without seeing a war, but that doesn’t mean the army should not command the respect it deserves. “A country that fails to protect its army cannot progress.”

Rathore on the other hand, targeted former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf for his comments that his country’s nuclear weapons were not meant for use on Shab-e-Baraat, an oblique warning to India.

“General Musharraf saab cannot enter his own house how he would enter India,” he said, referring to treason charges slapped against the former Pakistani dictator.

“Chot kahin aur mari dard kahin aur huya. We warned that whoever harbours terrorism should be afraid. So why Pakistan spoke up?” he said, reacting to Pakistan’s response to India’s operation in Myanmar.

Pak Urges World to Take Note 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani prime minister’s senior aide Sartaj Aziz has called on the international community to take note of the rise in tensions between Pakistan and India, Express News reported Monday.

Referring to the anti-Pakistan vitriol recently spewed by Indian ministers, Sartaj Aziz said, “This is why the India-Pakistan situation keeps changing. Therefore, we will not negotiate on India’s terms.”

“Anti-Pakistan statements help vote banks of political parties in India,” Aziz said, while speaking to the media at an event organised by the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad.

“Even if we are not friends, Pakistan does not want tense relations with India. We want dialogue over all contentious issues including water and Kashmir,” the premier’s senior aide said.

Aziz’ statement comes after top foreign policy wizards recommended that the government stick with its ‘peaceful neighbourhood’ policy instead of getting distracted by the constant anti-Pakistan hysteria whipped up by the Indian leadership.

While the civil and military leadership have reacted sharply to the tirade from across the border, more than a dozen Pakistani ambassadors serving in different countries have cautioned ruling party politicians not to fall into the “trap” laid by the administration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In an unprecedented outburst against Pakistan, Indian PM Modi during his recent trip to Bangladesh not only accused Islamabad of sponsoring terrorism, but also acknowledged the Indian government’s role in the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. His cabinet members were more vocal and suggested that India should support terrorists to neutralise terrorists. Some even threatened carrying out ‘surgical strikes’ against terrorists inside Pakistan.

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