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I Don’t Think Lessons Are Taught By Exaggerated Surgical Strikes: P Chidambaram

Former Union home and finance minister P. Chidambaram talks to Outlook on a range of topics from the Pulwama terror attack, the grand opposition alliance to Rafale deal and cow vigilantes.

I Don’t Think Lessons Are Taught By Exaggerated Surgical Strikes: P Chidambaram
Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
I Don’t Think Lessons Are Taught By Exaggerated Surgical Strikes: P Chidambaram
outlookindia.com
2019-02-22T19:17:33+05:30

Former Union home and finance minister P. Chidambaram is busy putting toge­ther the Congress manifesto before the forthcoming general elections. His book Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India (Rupa), a collection of his articles published in The Indian Express in 2018 is just out. Chidambaram talks to Satish Padmanabhan on a range of topics from the Pulwama terror attack, the grand opposition alliance to Rafale deal and cow vigilantes. Excerpts…

How should India react to the Pulwama terror attack? How would have you handled it as home minister?

I condemn the Pulwama incident. But the alleged perpetrator is an Indian, a Kashmiri. He is not a Pakistani. He claims to have been influenced or indo­ctrinated by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, maybe that’s true. But if young men are pushed into the arms of militant organisations, whatever we do on the border, whatever we do to contain Pakistan, whatever we do to stop infiltration, whatever we do of cross-border action, is not going to yield any results. We have to win the hearts and minds of the people of Kashmir Valley.

But after such an incident the demand for even more muscular action, the demand for a strong leader only gets louder. Do you really think it is possible to cool down temperatures at this juncture?

Strong leaders are not going to cool down temperatures. In fact, what you need is wise leaders, compassionate leaders. I think we should be strong in military presence, military action on the border. Stop infiltration, stop terrorism on the border, prevent militants from coming into India. But within the valley, you have to win the hearts and minds of people. The kind of reaction in the rest of the country is only alienating the Kashmiri people. If you take action...

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