Despite Pakistan’s offer of peace by releasing wing commander Abhinandan, it was forced to do so because of the international pressure and the efforts of Indian diplomats. The real gesture of peace by Pakistan would have been taking steps to ensure Pulwama attacks would not have happened
One of the unfortunate events over the last few days is how Pakistan trying to play holier-than-thou and the so-called liberal sections in India insidiously propping that misleading narrative, especially at a time of national emergency.
Make no mistake about it, despite the grandstanding of peace, Pakistan’s offer to release the Indian pilot, wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, is something that it had do in the face of international pressure which was brought to bear upon Islamabad. The international community turning the screws on Islamabad is in itself a victory for the quiet but firm diplomacy that India exhibited in the aftermath of Abhinandan’s hapless capture.
While the mood of the nation was agitated --- no doubt swayed by the agent provocateurs who whipped up a frenzy against the government even as the images of a bloodied Abhinandan in Pakistan custody were getting viral - the government went about its task in an unobtrusive manner.
Even at the risk of being branded ‘unconcerned’, the voices from the political side of the government were kept in agreeable mute. Only the crass comment of BS Yeddyurappa was a sore point. The government had a clear plan, and it let the military hands operate at one level, and the diplomatic brigade behind the scenes.
Even the sorties into Balakot were a decision taken by the armed forces. It was not a political one, despite what is spun out in the media. Let us face it, no armed force is going to get into a war-like situation just because the politicos want it. To hammer a story that Balakot strikes were more due to Modi’s bellicose ways is actually an insult to the Indian military.
Indian defence forces have always been independent, and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. To even think that such a primed outfit, which has always stood up for the cause of India, can be easily led astray is wrong and cruel.
The Pulwama terrorist attacks, in which security personnel were killed, were always more likely to have stung the militarydom than the civilians. It was only natural that they would have wanted to prove a point or two to the Pak terror factories.
Of course, you can trust the defence guys to put cold logic into use and not be overcome by paroxysms of revenge. They are voices of reason even when others around are losing their equipoise. In fact, having to deal with death on a daily basis, defence personnel know the unfortunate and inescapable fallouts of a war. So they generally don’t rush to it.
Balakot strikes happened because an enemy was carrying out unbearable crimes and had to be taught a lesson. It was not a trigger-happy group’s knee-jerk reaction. It was a well-trained unit's well thought out response.
Unfortunately one of its members fell into the hands of the enemy. But he showed enormous courage and valour to remain unbowed and undaunted. The Indian diplomatic corps rose to the occasion by leading the backroom initiatives.
You may not want to give the Indian government any credit in getting back Abhinandan. Fine. It is a matter of opinion. But for heaven’s sake, don’t let Pakistan clamber on to the moral high ground. It doesn’t belong there. Remember, Balakot happened not because of India’s belligerence. It was because of Pakistan’s blood-thrist in Pulwama. Pak started the fire.
Last Updated 1, Mar 2019, 4:05 PM IST