Gone are the days, when terrorists in terror camps across the border, carried out fidayeen attacks on India and had a comfortable sleep. Gone are the days, when a freehand sought by our armed forces to deal with terror was never given. Gone are the days, when the government neither countered terrorism with strong words nor actions.
In spite of bearing the burnt for nurturing terrorism, Pakistan’s approach towards countering terrorism has been abysmal. It has turned itself to be a safe haven for global terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim and Masood Azhar. Reports suggest that Osama Bin Laden, the 9/11 attack mastermind, lived safely in Abottabad, Pakistan for at least five years, before being neutralized by the US Navy Seals. The world today acknowledges the fact that terrorism and Pakistan are nothing but two sides of the same coin.
Pakistan has always tried to bleed India with a thousand cuts using covert and low-intensity warfare with militancy and infiltration. Nurturing and training terrorists to achieve its distant dream of capturing Kashmir, has made it forget even its own populace.
India has no doubt bled and even bled profoundly when four heavily armed JeM terrorists attacked an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri in the wee hours of 18th September, 2018. Nineteen brave soldiers were martyred. The Uri attack had to be avenged and the harbingers of terrorists- rogue Pakistan, taught a lesson. It was no more than ‘Khoon to khaul raha hai, lekin kuch kar nahi sakte’ (blood-boils-but can’t-do-anything) government. Merely 10 days after this attack, the Indian security forces conducted ‘surgical strikes’. India avenged the Uri attack by neutralizing terrorists across the border and destroying their training camps. The signal was loud and clear, ‘India from now on shall never be a mute spectator. It shall retaliate and retaliate with full force’.
Old habits, die hard. On 14th February, 2019 a suicide attack carried out by a Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) terrorist, led to the martyrdom of 40 brave CRPF personnel. Pakistan’s involvement was unquestionable and a lesson had to be taught. A conservative Pakistan, expecting yet another surgical strike quickly vacated its operational terrorist camps. But little did they know, a less than 20 minutes operation would wipe of JeM’s Balakot camp, deep in Pakistan. It was an Air Strike, conducted by the able pilots of the Indian Air Force with their Mirage 2000s with jaw-dropping power and precision, leaving scores of terrorists dead.
A humiliated Pakistan had to save its face. When its F-16s entered Indian air space, they were successfully intercepted by the Indian Air Force. In the dog-fight that ensued, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flying a MIG 21 Bison shot down an intruding Pakistani F16. Unfortunately, Abhinandan’s MIG 21 was also shot down, wherein he ejected safely but landed in the Pakistani side.
India wanted its pilot back and rightfully so, in accordance to International Law.
India had to act fast, employ diplomatic pressure and ensure its brave pilot’s release. India’s efforts bore fruits and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was back within mere 60 hours of his detention.
Few ‘Pseudo Liberals’ termed this as a praiseworthy gesture of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Some declaring him a harbinger of peace and even demanding Nobel Prize for Peace. However, with the unfolding of these events, these people, unaware or aware yet unwilling, failed to appreciate Abhinandan homecoming as India’s diplomatic win. India’s diplomatic offensive and its engagement with the envoys of several nations garnered huge support against Pakistan. Revocation of the Most-Favoured Nation Status, 200 per cent hike of customs duty on goods imported from Pakistan, Stopping of water flowing into Pakistan, and India’s participation at the OIC summit as the guest of honour despite Pakistan’s opposition, were no doubt actions which led Pakistan to succumb. Most importantly, the people of India stood united.
Unfortunately, there was uniformity in voices raised by Pakistan and some of our political parties. To them, I say, elections are round the corner and the people of this great democracy shall rightfully show them their places.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly justified his “56 inch ka seena”. His unwillingness to dialogue with Pakistan despite their repeated attempts to reach out to him, is indicative of his firm stand against terror. The onslaught on Pakistan for harbouring terror, in the form of surgical strike then and air strikes now, within 10 and 12 days respectively, depicts PM Modi’s ‘Quick Retaliation’ Policy. India’s transition from a terror tolerant nation to a global counter terrorism commander can no doubt be accorded to his efforts.
India’s increasing engagement with foreign nations transcending into building diplomatic clout and its ‘Zero tolerance to terror’ policy are no doubt reasons for the safe homecoming of our hero, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The Ulta Choor must now understand that “Chokidaar is not choor, he is pure and will again become PM, for sure.”