Congress ropes in architect of 2016 surgical strikes


Ex-Northern Army Commander to head party’s task force on national security

Former Northern Army commander, Lieutenant General (Retd) D.S. Hooda, considered the chief architect of the 2016 surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, will head the Congress’ task force on national security.

The party on Thursday issued a statement and released photographs of Lt. Gen. Hooda’s meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi.

“The Congress president is setting up a ‘task force on national security’ to prepare a vision paper for the country. Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda (retd) will lead the Task Force and prepare the paper in consultations with a select group of experts,” said Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal in a statement.

Lt Gen Hooda’s appointment also coincides with the Congress party’s sharp attack on the Modi government, questioning the security lapses in the Pulwama suicide attack.

The move also comes amid the opposition’s assessment that the ruling party may seek to take electoral advantage of the prevailing mood in the country. “The government may go for military action and arouse a heightened sense of nationalism to win the elections,” said a senior Opposition who didn’t wish to be quoted. The Congress had been accusing the Modi government of politicising the 2016 surgical strikes.


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