The hot pursuit along the Indoia-Myanmar border was no doubt a great operation. However post that operation there were a flurry of statements made by some ministers claiming that India had entered into Myanmar and flushed out militants.
By no respect was it the best of things to say and all it did was invite a denial from Myanmar as it did without a doubt put them in a spot of bother. What some of the ministers need to understand is that this was not a war, it was an operation.
Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, CD Sahay says that it was an excellent operation, but the manner in which unwarranted statements were issued was very unnecessary. In this interview with OneIndia, Sahay says that issuing such statements will put in jeopardy future operations that we may need to conduct either with Nepal or Bangladesh.
A few ministers have clearly spoken out of turn post the Myanmar hot pursuit. What are your thoughts on this?
I would like to say this was an operation and not a war where you go about claiming victory. This was an operation that was launched for a different reason and objective. Ideally it should have remained under wraps.
Clearly, the statement that India entered into Myanmar and flushed out the militants has spot that nation in a spot of bother. Your thoughts on this?
Yes it has. If you read there was a denial on this aspect too. Ideally the exact nature of the operation should have remained under wraps. Any exposure of this nature will be detrimental in every respect.
While operations do get carried out with other nations, it is the need of the hour to keep it under wraps. No country would like to acknowledge that other nations have entered into their soil and carried out an operation.
Such statements should be avoided. What if an operation in Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka has to be carried out? Will they allow us if unwarranted statements are made.
Could we cite the example of the US shielding the ISI which had clearly helped them flush out Osama Bin Laden?
Yes, that is an example that can be cited here. Do you have any major operational details of the Abottabad strike in which Osama Bin Laden was killed?
You have some documents being made public and a few images of the operation. Do you till date know who helped the US carry out the operation.
They said that the radars had gone blank and the media has debated it heavily that the ISI sold Osama Bin Laden to the US. Has one minister in the US come out in the open and acknowledged it?
They are aware that if they do it would jeopardize every operation with the Pakistanis they would want to carry out in the future. One needs to protect their source.
What are your thoughts on Pakistan reacting to India's operation in Myanmar?
Pakistan has given a silly reaction. They went on to warn the Indians that they are not Myanmar and any such operation would be dealt with strongly. I was a little surprised that they did not deny the presence of any terrorist on their soil(laughs).
What needs to be done to stem the flow of such statements post an operation?
In an operation of such importance the primary aspect would be who issues the official statement. There should be one source who will issue the statement and not every person in the government should be authorized to make statements whether or not their ministries are connected with the operation or not.
A firm directive to ministers not to make statements regarding such operations should be issued, so that such confusion is not caused. These are not one off operations and need to be carried out in the future as well. If such statements embarrassing the other country are made, then it will shy them away in future.