Had No Option But To Publicise Surgical Strike, ‘Too Many’ Questions Were Being Asked: Lt Gen Who Oversaw OperationCommanding-in-Chief of Northern Command Lt. Gen. Hooda addresses a press conference in BB cant army base camp on 19 August 2016 of Srinagar. (Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

India had no option but to publicise the surgical strikes carried out by the Army to punish Pakistan for the Uri terror attack which resulted in the death of 19 soldiers, Lieutenant General (Retd) Deependra Singh Hooda, who oversaw the operation as the Northern Army Commander in September 2016, has said.

"Should it have been publicised? There was no option. Too many questions were being asked. The media and our own Army soldiers were asking, ‘what are we doing about so many deaths of soldiers’,” Hooda was quoted by the Indian Express as saying. He made this comment during a discussion on the ‘Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes’ at the Military Literature Festival.

However, according to the report, he also said that “overhype” did not help.

“Did the overhype help? I say, completely no. If you start having political resonance in military operations, it is not good,” Hooda said.

“There was too much political banter, on both sides, and when military operations get politicised, that is not good,” he added.

Ironically, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who often raises the issue of surgical strikes against Pakistan while addressing rallies, has used Lieutenant General Hooda's comments to attack the government.

In a tweet, he said, "Spoken like a true soldier General. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by 30,000 crore".

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