Lt Gen DS Hooda said that the surgical strikes that India carried out across the Line of Control (LoC) after the Uri attack in 2016 was the right thing to do but the inconsistent follow-up made it a lost opportunity to send a lasting impression to Pakistan.
“We had sent a strong message to Pakistan with the surgical strike and initially we did see a sense of shock and surprise. We would hear the chatter of troops across and there was a sense of panic. I think where we could have done better was in the follow-up. We should have taken up the opportunity and maintained pressure on Pakistan,” the officer said.
Hooda lead the Northern Command during the strikes and is currently penning a national security strategy for the Congress.
Pointing out an attack on an army camp in Nagrota two months after the surgical strikes, Hooda said that the statement made after the military action in 2016 did not convey the right message.
“I am not too sure about the statement we made that we do not intend to do anything else (after the strikes) – was it a signal that nothing will happen to Pakistan if it continues? I would say there was a lost opportunity,” he said.
On Thursday 21 February, Hooda was appointed the head of the Congress task force on national security.
Congress’ official Twitter handle said the lapse in national security “points directly at NSA Ajit Doval.” It is at this time that Congress President Rahul Gandhi roped in Lt General DS Hooda to head the party’s task force on national security.