India, Pakistan and the regional security
Tensions between Pakistan and India started boiling up in the wake of the fateful Pulwama incident of 14 February. Without doing the direly-needed introspection on the policies and heavy-handedness of the RSS-backed Modi regime that leads the Kashmiri youths to giving such an extreme reaction, Indian authorities have again chanted the same old mantra: blame Pakistan. However, the world has now realized that resistance in Kashmir is absolutely indigenous. It is due to this reason that no country in the world is ready to buy the Indian propaganda on Kashmir issue. Keeping in view Narendra Modi’s track record and the nature of India’s sociopolitical landscape, most unbiased analysts have put their weight behind the assertion that Pulwama was another false flag operation similar to Uri (2016) and Samjhauta Express (2007) incidents. They doubt as to how it was possible that 700+ kg of explosive was moved miles inside the world’s most militarized zone.
Elections in India are fast approaching, and who doesn’t know that Modi is going to be a big failure. Results of recent 3 state elections provide irrefutable evidence to it. Series of protests all around the country, particularly by minorities and farmers, establish the fact that people’s welfare have never been among Modi government’s priorities. All minorities, even low-caste Hindus such as Dalits, are looking forward to oust the bigoted regime. Indian soldiers too have started gathering courage to raise their genuine concerns against the government. Then, the Kashmiri youths, through their perseverance and countless sacrifices, have turned the tables, making the Kashmir issue a thorn in India’s side. The young Kashmiri freedom fighters have strongly resolved to say no to Indian tyranny, and also to avenge the martyrdom of their fellows by hunting Indian soldiers. The flip-flop in India’s policy statements in the aftermath of Pulwama incident evinced that Modi government was in a state of an extreme paranoia and something serious was cooking up inside.
In this situation, Modi wanted least damage to his vote bank and, hence, tried to placate his voters. Release of a film on Uri incident and the so-called surgical strikes, costly gun deal with the United States to buck his frightened soldiers up, blaming Pakistan for the shady Pulwama incident and the unrelenting beating of war drums, all seem ineffectual to bring any future political dividends for Modi and Co. Also, as many Indians had already doubted the credibility of Modi’s claims of ‘surgical strikes’, something tangible was badly needed. Thus, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was perhaps being persuaded to take a risk for this sacred ‘national cause’. So, some bomber planes of IAF dared to sneak into Pakistan on the Loc. Facing interception and a vigilant response from Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Indian jets dropped off their payloads and instantly flew back. However, it provided the Indian government with something it would sell to its voters. The war-crazy and jingoistic elements in India made tall claims of exterminating a Jaish-e-Muhammad camp at Balakot killing ‘hundreds of terrorists’ – the claim no independent source has verified yet. After telecasting as the ‘biggest breaking news of the year’, Indian media started using its old antics, i.e. sabre rattling and sarcasm. It started provoking Pakistan by using the derogatory terms such as “Ghar ma ghuss k maara hy” (We have hit you inside your own house).
This 24/7 false propaganda made an unprecedented dent to national morale of the people of Pakistan. The nation wanted a befitting response to India. Social and mainstream media also started creating a kind of war hysteria. Pakistan’s National Security Committee decided to give India a befitting response for its flagrant LoC violation and Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of ISPR, held a press conference, debunking India’s claims on the LoC violation. He further said “We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our response … The response will come at a point and time of our choosing where our civil military leadership decides, and as a matter of fact, has decided.”
Then, as the story goes, the very next morning, Pakistan did respond. Pakistan Air Force, staying inside Pakistani territory, locked some Indian military targets inside Indian-occupied Kashmir with its JF-17 Thunder jets. A dogfight ensued and Pakistan hunted two of the Indian fighter jets and one pilot was captured. This gave a much-needed boost to the nation’s morale and people thronged roads and streets to celebrate this victory.
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