Is Opposition justified in seeking Balakot evidence or shouldn’t politicise national security?

Pranay’s reply to this question for ThePrint’s #TalkPoint of 4th March 2019

The opposition parties are justified in seeking evidence to the extent that the government’s spokespersons insist with their boastful claim that 250-300 terrorists were killed in the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force.

In the broader scheme of things, the strategic consequences of the air strikes remain the same irrespective of the casualty figure. It’s not as if the Jaish-e-Mohammed will stop terrorism just because the air strikes hit their facility and killed some of its operatives.

But the Pakistani military-jihadi complex, spearheaded by the Pakistani army, will definitely remember that India struck on its sovereign territory in response to a terror attack by an outfit operating from its soil. So, the strikes are a dent on the Pakistani army – the self-proclaimed ideological and territorial defenders of Pakistan.

This is the real strategic victory for India. Any physical damage to the JeM facility and its leadership is a bonus. Hence the government and the opposition both should desist from exploiting this successful operation for their own partisan propaganda. We as a society are on the wrong track if Pakistan and its terrorists become an important issue in the upcoming elections.

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