From: yoginder sharma email@example.com
Sent: 02 May 2010 05:44
To: Kamboj Chander
Subject: AN ARTICLE BY LT GEN HARWANT SINGH (REGARDING AFSPA) - EMAIL 197/2010 - 27 APR 2010 (H to Z)
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2. Just as the author has the right to express his view, there should be scope for 'dissent'. Generally, tolerance of dissent is a sign of maturity and intellectual rigour. And a civilised discourse ought to be free of prejudice and personal invective.
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4. Shorn of rhetoric, and fluff about HR, Sadhbhavana and so on( op/tac concerns are best left to incumbent cdrs/& neither quite featured in my earlier Post?) , the real issue at hand was 'recasting of AFSPA.'. The article's cautionary intention is well served and fully taken. But it is also important that such 'status-quoism' should not become dysfunctional to the 'overall aim/obj' of ops- after all AFSPA is an instrument for facilitating ops. What is the 'strat/key obj' in this form of warfare? Obviously not 'capture of territory/kill ldrs/recover wpns' etc, which are, at best, proximate tac objs.
5. Here I wish to assert with full weight (and humility) of an Inf professional 's experience( of leading from a Pl to an Army), specialised trg and more than a fair share of CI ops of various kinds, that at Op level the superordinate OBJ is regaining/retaining the LOCAL SP. Lose that and you cannot win.Therefore, anything that would seriously hurt this 'Op Imperative' is counterproductive. It is my case that presently in Manipur ,inter alia, we are at such a critical juncture, when pragmatic flexibility/ mil statesmanship is needed, without in any way relenting in op intensity.
6. I also profess faith in the professionalism of our legal experts , who with the right mil advice , can innovatively recast the legal package/protection, so that it fully enables effective ops. Regrettably, such thinking is reflexively attributed to 'bleeding heart pacifists or HR lobbies. I belong to neither nor have lost the 'big picture' or concern for our tps..
7. It may be interesting to research if all the Armies that have engaged in LICO in the past 100 yrs or so-ranging from Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, VietNam, Afghanistan, , Chechnya ,Sri Lanka and so on- had a copy of our AFSPA as a legal prophylactic.Sure, they must have had something similar, even more stringent; but it shows that other AVTAARS of the Act are possible.Then why this phobia and fixation about the scope for sensible reform. It is needed in self interest of the SF and is a compulsion of the strat context, as obtaining in some sectors.
8. Being argumentative and change-resistant are characteristic of our civilizational values-in some ways these are virtues. Those still not persuaded by my argument are welcome to disagree-Kal Chakra/time will validate the right choice, in due course.
Till then keep smiling.
(Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander)