Pakistani residents walk on a bridge in the mountainous area of Balakot where the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched a raid, on February 26, 2019.Jameel Ahmed | AFP | Getty Images
After Indian strike inside Pakistani territory, Islamabad vowed a solid response
Ishaal Zehra 4 March 2019
Cynthia D. Ritchie truly depicts the psychology of Modi Sarkar (government) when writes ‘when in trouble: distract, defer, deflect – all part of India’s predictable Political Posturing, which requires a sophisticated, unexpected response from Pakistan.” With elections just around the corner, Modi was badly losing his support and to restore some semblance of popularity he ought to do something anti-Pakistan coupled with the usual rhetoric. Pulwama false flag operation was designed to create a casus belli for propaganda and an action against Pakistan. Ensuing, the much condemned incident which took lives of more than 40 Indian CRPF soldiers, the Indian army staged a drama on February 26th proclaiming to carry out a surgical strike inside Pakistani territory. This much trumpeted action was just a violation of Pakistani air space over Azad Jammu & Kashmir and nothing much as claimed by the Indian media. The Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 aircraft which came inside the Pakistan air space in the hours of darkness hastily escaped after PAF’s fighter jets came roaring. Although the violation took place in Poonch Sector’s Bala Kote along the LoC, the area is being confused (a deliberate misinformation by Indian media) with Bala Kot which is a famous town in Khyber-Paktunkhwa province of Pakistan. The world should not get carried away with the Indian propaganda. They had tried to entice Pakistan into conflagration and thoughtlessly passed the control of the conflict to Pakistan as a right to retaliate in self-defense. Next, Pakistan did what it was supposed to do. The very next day, Pakistan Air Force clapped back by engaging 6 non-military targets across the line of control only to substantiate its capability, will and resolve towards safeguarding its country, with no intent to escalate the war. Unsurprisingly the IAF jets hastily intruded the Pakistani air space, thus crossing the line of control inside the Pakistani territory where two of them were hit by the ingenious fighter pilots of Pakistan Air Force. The lone surviving Indian squadron leader who was able to eject was subsequently taken under custody by the Pak army. Pakistan PM Khan later announced to send back the Indian PoW Squadron leader Abhinandan to his home country as a peace gesture.
Many believe that the Pulwama attack was merely an election ploy by the sitting Indian government. The aftermath was of course beyond their imagination. They perhaps had thought they would sensationalize the Indian public with a fake surgical strike sort of performance they did earlier and sweep the upcoming elections. But this time it didn’t go as planned. Pakistani PM Imran Khan was loud and clear when he said, “… the Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim”, suggesting the Indian account was “for domestic consumption” in the run-up to imminent elections. But interestingly he is not the only one pointing out that an escalating conflict with Pakistan plays well for Modi and his nationalist BJP in the polls. West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee and opposition party president Rahul Gandhi are also skeptical at the timings of Pulwama attack and accused the Modi administration of wanting to instil war hysteria in Indian public for their own benefit. Many other Parliamentarians have also openly accused PM Narendra Modi of orchestrating the Pulwama Attack. Where one politician Wamin Mishra, has gone as far as saying that Modi knew about the attack 9 days in advance and he has proof to back his claim.
Ironically, a Reuter’s survey result also validated with the claims made against the BJP government. The said survey showed a marked uptick in support for PM Modi in the immediate aftermath of the 14 February attack. He was, after all, swept to power in 2014 at least partly thanks to the image he portrayed of himself as a strong leader. Much disturbing were the brags by the ruling BJP Party Karnataka Chief who proudly swaggered that this India-Pakistan war stunt should make them win 22 out of 28 seats in elections.
If things weren’t bad enough, the Indian media played its part in escalating the already grave situation by spreading sensationalism and arousing negative emotions in the masses. “Banning Pakistan is not the focus now, destruction of Pakistan is. Anyone who lectures non-violence and peace now should be painted black and slapped by everyone on the streets…” and “We want pieces… not peace”, type of statements only served the radical BJP government who is already accused of using violence for political gains as part of electoral strategy associated with Hindu nationalism. Those who dare to question the government regarding India’s own follies and failures are branded as traitors and are asked to go to Pakistan if they are Muslims by chance. Former Test cricketer and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu faced the wrath of so-called nationalists after he argued that an act of terrorism committed by few individuals does not mean the entire country is the culprit and war is no solution.
It must be surmised that Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war rather it was pushed to an edge where it had to even the score. The world should understand that Pakistan as a nation was forced into a situation where it had to act in response to make India aware of its capabilities, will and resolve to defend its homeland. Even being at a better off position at the moment, Pakistan still doesn’t want war. Now, it’s time for India to revisit her radical policy and have a realistic approach. The International community should also intervene to resolve the core issue of Kashmir, not just the LoC violations. As this is the only way to absolute peace in the region. This attack may have boosted the Modi led government, but it isn’t likely to prevent more terrorist activity in Kashmir. As ex-CM IHK Mehbooba Mufti has been claiming since the Pulwama attack that the reasons behind this attack are domestic and not external. Advice to Indian masses would be to do not give in to this forced war hysteria imposed on them by those sitting at the realm of power and let peace be victorious.