Pathankot op mishandled; army correct choice for counter-insurgency ops, not NSG: Amarinder Singh

New Delhi: Punjab Congress chief and 1965 war veteran Amarinder Singh on Thursday attacked the government over what he alleged "mishandling" of the Pathankot operation, and questioned the deployment of NSG instead of the Army, which he said is better in counter-insurgency.

He said that by bringing the National Security Guard (NSG) those at the helm may have certainly "glamourised and romanticised" the operation but they have also ended up with "more loss of precious lives of our soldiers".

Amarinder Singh. AFP

Amarinder Singh. AFP

"Even after the passage of seven days nobody is sure whether all the militants have been flushed out or not. We are as unsure and uncertain about the situation today as we were on the day one of the attack.

"Thanks to the total mishandling of the situation we have, by default, served the purpose of the perpetrators by allowing the operation to last unusually for longer duration," he said.

The former Punjab chief minister, who has also served in the Army and participated in the 1965 war against Pakistan, said, "By bringing in the NSG, instead of the army which has better training and expertise in counter-insurgency, those at the helm may have certainly glamourised and romanticised the operation but they have also ended up with more loss of precious lives of our soldiers."

In a statement, Singh said, the deployment of NSG got prolonged media attention "which is the main purpose of those who conceived and executed it".

Amarinder also disagreed with the GOC Western Command Lt Gen KJ Singh that it was right to deploy NSG to flush out militants instead of the Army.

Singh said the general appears to be defending the government decision for obvious reasons of being a disciplined soldier.

"Even former Chief of Army Staff Gen VP Malik and other retired generals have been on record saying that army could have handled the situation better," he said.

Singh said NSG commandos are effective where targets are identified like hostages or hijacking or 'holed up' situations.

"NSG has no experience in counter-insurgency operations and that is the reason one of the elite commandos got killed even after killing one of the terrorists," he said, adding army is best trained and experienced in counter-insurgency operations as compared to the NSG.

He said army has been engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir with great success and minimum loss of life.

"Army have got training, experience and expertise and they would certainly have done a better job, in shorter duration and more likely with less loss of life," Singh said.


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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2016 18:11:10 IST

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