We are the ones who lose our lives, not politicians, says former defence personnel

Former defence personnel share their feelings about India’s relations with Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack

As evidence of the involvement of Pak-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad emerges in the attack at Pathankot, Captain Deepak Chander Berry, who served the Indian Army from 1967-77, points out that whenever India has extended a friendly hand towards Pakistan, an attack follows.

The 69-year-old Pune resident, who was part of the 1971 war with Pakistan, says, "First there was the Kargil war after Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to Pakistan, and now the Pathankot terror attack after Narendra Modi's visit. This diplomacy with Pakistan isn't helping. As soldiers we are ready to kill for the nation and be killed for it. But these terror attacks come as a surprise, it is difficult to know who the enemy is – it ends up being a tough situation."

"Politicians seem to be playing a dirty game. They just express tributes to soldiers with their mouths. In their hearts they only want to fulfill their own agenda. I have friends who have had generations in the armed forces. We are the ones who lose our lives, not the politicians," says Major Sanjit Singh who was part of the 1999 Kargil War and was posted in Ladakh.

Commander Sushil Nagmote, who served in the Indian Navy for 23 years, says, "The Indian Navy has not been very actively involved in war, but I have friends and colleagues who lost their lives in Indo-Pak wars and skirmishes. It does make me feel sad to see Pakistanis in India as a nationalist. The Indian diplomacy sometimes makes me uncomfortable."

The kinds of protest however are not something Nagmote supports. He says, "There are peaceful ways to protest by holding placards, those who sympathise with the lost lives in the India-Pakistan wars need to behave like law-abiding citizens."

Voices

  Bilateral talk is the only solution for both India and Pakistan. Yes, we fight wars but at the end of the day we need to have dialogue. Politics is a big game that is being played, we defend the country and it is sad to see all this tamasha.
— Major Nalini Jain Agarwal, was part of Operation Parakram, Kargil

 I lost many friends in Kargil. But as a soldier I feel that art and war should be kept aside. If we allow diplomats, then artists should also be allowed.
— Major Milind Tungar, was part of Operation Parakram, Kargil, and is leading the campaign for OROP

 

  Culture and art is the only medium through which we know about the culture of other places. Granting citizenship to Pakistani artist Adnan Sami is a positive step in Indo-Pak relations.
— Captain Sethu Madhavan P C, served in the army for 32 years

First there was the Kargil war after Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to Pakistan, and now the Pathankot attack after Narendra Modi's visit. This diplomacy with Pakistan isn't helping.
— Captain Deepak Chander Berry, was part of the 1971 war with Pakistan

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