Lt. General (Retd.) Deepender Singh Hooda handing over report to Congress President Rahul Gandhi
Lt. General (Retd.) Deepender Singh Hooda handing over report to Congress President Rahul Gandhi | AICC
Text Size:

New Delhi: Pakistan, the situation in Kashmir, the Naxal threat and communal violence feature prominently in the report prepared by a former Indian Army general on the Congress’ strategy vis-a-vis national security.

Lt Gen Deepender Singh Hooda (Retd), who oversaw India’s 2016 surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, was chosen by the Congress to head a task force to prepare a national security strategy for the party.


Also read: General who led surgical strikes will now head Congress task force on national security


General Hooda met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi Sunday to hand over the report prepared by the task force.

“Lt General Deepender Singh Hooda (Retd), who oversaw the Uri surgical strikes in 2016, was appointed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to oversee a task force, to prepare a comprehensive national security strategy report,” said a Congress functionary.

“The task force included a number of senior retired armed forces officers, diplomats and security experts. He has made a comprehensive report,” the functionary added.

The report prepared by Lt Gen Hooda and his team suggests an in-depth strategy to tackle Naxal violence, the source said, and highlights the potential threat communal violence could have in destabilising India.

On the neighbourhood

Importantly, the report states that India needs to start taking action against terrorism emanating from Pakistan by putting pressure on Islamabad “politically, diplomatically and even through military measures”.

“The current policy of Pakistan, where it indulges in state-sponsored terrorism to bring the focus on India-Pakistan talks, has failed,” said a second source who has accessed the report, describing its contents. “Pakistan has to stop terror activities. But the talks between the two nations also need to have some structured focus. India needs to put pressure on Pakistan through various channels, including the military,” the source added.

According to sources, the report prepared by the task force is divided into five parts: India’s place among global countries, how we need to have a secure neighbourhood, managing India’s own conflict, protecting our own people, and the need for building capabilities — military, police, intelligence, cyber and space.

The section on “secure neighbourhood” highlights the need for an ‘Act East’ policy, one that has also been pursued by the Narendra Modi government.

“The section talks about having a secure neighbourhood, with respect to Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, the ASEAN countries,” the second source added.

ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, comprises 10 countries from the region, including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Laying down guidelines for the Congress’ handling of India’s “own conflicts”, the report stresses the need for intra-state dialogue between Jammu & Kashmir’s three regions — Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh — to resolve the state’s problems.

“There’s a lot of division between the three regions and it is important that they all sit down and talk. There’s so much suspicion between the three regions,” said a third source privy to the report.

On Jammu & Kashmir

The report also states that the Jammu & Kashmir situation, where several local youths have reportedly joined terrorist ranks, has to be looked at with more empathy.


Also read: How south Kashmir has turned into a hotbed of homegrown militants


“Terrorism has to be addressed but there can’t be sole reliance on only a muscular approach. The entire situation has to be viewed with more empathy to resolve it,” the source added.

In the section on “managing our own people”, the report points to the risks posed by demographic pressures and climate change.

This report has been updated with additional information about the report of the task force

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

9 Comments Share Your Views

9 COMMENTS

  1. Another jumla of congress.. for 70 yes they a on problem and did nothing .infact after Pakistan become nuclear congress became fattu .. fools who believes you can win heart .. lol. Islam cannot be ruled by other religion . This is their basic tenant . Don’t make fun of heart . What is Palestine , chechniya , marawi ,pattni Thailand , Indonesia Bali , China ugyrs , rohingya burma problem ..they all are same .. Islamic separation n seggregation. What ever you do for them they will want sharia and burn your consitution . What happening in Europe is just and example. .

  2. I fully agree with General Hooda. “Winning the heart of the Kashmiris” is the key. God had sent an excellent opportunity to Mr Modi through the travail of floods in the valley soon after he came to power. If he had shown a BIG HEART then, Pakistan would have lost the battle of Kashmir FOR GOOD. But Narendra Modi being what he is, that was not to be. He has on the contrary completely messed up the situation. We are at such a precarious point that the UN peace keeping forces can troop in any time.

  3. Lt Gen Hooda is a thinking man’s soldier. These long running conflicts / insurgencies have sapped resources and vitality from the Indian state, have lingered on for too long. While the use of force becomes unavoidable, it should always be with a sense of reluctance and restraint. By itself, it will only make the tunnel more long.

  4. Time and again questions on government are twisters which includes Uri Surgical when used by ruling party for politics. A responsible govt would take every one along instead using it and thus allowing others to raise questions.

  5. “Terrorism has to be addressed but there can’t be sole reliance on only a muscular approach. The entire situation has to be viewed with more empathy to resolve it” – General, please don’t say that out loud. You will be called an anti-national.

  6. I thought congress suspected that surgical strikes didn’t happen and they asked for the proofs. Now they use the services of the same guys whose version they didn’t trust before. What a drama.

  7. General Hooda is one of the finest general officers the Indian Army has seen in recent times. I am definite that the document he has produced will be more than its weight in gold. But unfortunately like Rommel he’s on the wrong side!

  8. Communal strife is an entirely, cynically manufactured problem. Not difficult to put back into the bottle if there is political will.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here