India gained by not retaliating post-26/11: Chidambaram

New Delhi: India “gained enormously” by not retaliating against Pakistan after the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed more than 160 lives, former Union Minister of Home and Finance P. Chidambaram said on Friday.

“India gained enormously in esteem in the world for not retaliating after the attacks,” Chidambaram said at a panel discussion here after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially released a new book “Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy” written by former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.

At least 166 people were killed when 10 members of the Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba carried out attacks across multiple locations in India’s commercial capital Mumbai from the night of November 26, 2008, till the dawn of November 29, 2008.

Chidambaram said that after he was made Home Minister on December 1, 2008, he realised that retaliation was “not an option, it was not feasible”.

His comments come in the wake of the Indian Army carrying out surgical strikes across the Line of Control following the cross-border attack on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September this year that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

Earlier this week, another cross-border terror attack was carried out at Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir that killed seven Indian soldiers.

Menon, who was part of Friday’s panel, observed that the surgical strikes have not stopped Pakistani terrorists from carrying out further attacks.