KARACHI: The recent Pulwama attack on an India military convoy, followed by Indian aggression, brought the two nuclear-armed states to the brink of war.
The Indian leadership and media have made a habit of blaming Pakistan for any attack in India, without due investigation. Despite Prime Minister Imran Khan’s assurances of Pakistan’s cooperation upon presenting an evidence of Pakistani territory being used by terrorist groups, India kept violating the LoC and sent their air force in Balakot and Jabba. As per the DG ISPR, the PAF had to engage the fighter jet in Jabba, which resulted in the capture of Indian pilot Abhinandan. As a peace gesture, PM Khan announced the release of Abhinandan, which was ironically followed by continued Indian aggression along the LoC, resulting in civilian and military casualties.
Even though the international community has intervened and successfully deescalated the situation, constant violations from India resulted in Indian opposition parties blaming PM Modi for hyper-nationalising the situation to win the forthcoming elections, with the BJP government wanting to retain its image of a nationalist party defending its motherland.
Sadly, in today’s world, electoral victory is given precedence over the loss of human life. The situation needs to be analysed prudently in view of the nuclear capability of the two countries.
Given how the situation unfolded, few reservations remain in place. Firstly, the Pulwama attacker Adil Ahmad Dar was captured in 2017 by Indian forces in IOK for his affiliation with Hizbul Mujahideen. Following the attacks, Indian media claimed he was affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). An independent investigation needs to be carried out to establish the facts of this event.
Secondly, if the JeM is involved, how did the US, with its vast intelligence apparatus around the globe, not find any credible intelligence vis-à-vis this?
Thirdly, why are the two states not channeling resources to resolve mutual disputes through dialogue; including longstanding issues on poverty, education, etc.
I am sure if the resources used to mobilise troops are diverted towards the above-stated issues, at least one of the objectives can be achieved.
Amjad Ali Siyal
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2019.