The tragic and horrifying incident of Fidayeen attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) operative Adil Dar is the deadliest attack in recent times with the 42 soldiers of CRPF dying with the explosion. Amidst the obvious outrage among the people, diplomatic offensive by the Government and strong action by the armed forces in the Valley in the war of narratives what needs to be done is to accept and analyse the nature of war and draw a clear line between the terrorists and separatists on the one side and mainstream political ideologies on the other, argues Daya Sagar
Bharat Rebuts Pakistan
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has shamelessly asked for proof while very conveniently overlooking the fact that the JeM has itself accepted proudly its direct role in carrying out the ghastly killing of more than 40 CRPF soldiers. Not just this, even the Pakistani invader and former Army Chief of Pakistan Gen Pervez Musharraf who masterminded Kargil war which failed miserably as Pakistan had to ultimately withdraw its forces have acknowledged the Jaish’s role and said that even he was attacked many times! What more proof is needed? The statement by Foreign Minister of Pakistan is more threatening and clearly shows the Jihadist mindset.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi saluting the supreme sacrifice of the CRPF jawans at Palam Airport in New Delhi
It is good to note that India in a befitting reply has very rightly rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments on the ghastly Pulwama attacks, saying that disclaiming neighbouring Islamabad’s link with terrorist attacks is an excuse often repeated by the “nerve centre” of terrorism.
India also came out with a seven-point hard-hitting response after Imran Khan said that he would act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama attacks. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India was not surprised that Khan refused to acknowledge the attack on India’s security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism, adding his offer to investigate the attack if provided proof is a ‘lame excuse’. The MEA minced no words in putting across that, “Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani Prime Minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime.”
Amidst attempt to create sympathy about the suicide bomber by some media houses and intellectuals and petty politicking by some politicians to polish their ‘secular’ and ‘peaceful’ image, Prime Minister Shri Modi gave a strong message of military actions with economic development, the cabinet committee on security came up with the effective diplomatic measures, including that of the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan and all the political parties unanimously passed the resolution and decided to stand by the Government and Armed forces.
What stands out here is what befitting reply the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh gave. He asked Imran Khan who demanded proof of Islamabad’s role in the Pulwama attack: “Should we send the bodies of the terrorists killed by our security forces to him? What proof is he (Imran) talking about? Will he identify them?” He also pointed out that even in the Nirankari Bhavan blast at Rajasansi, a Pakistani grenade was used, clearly exposing the neighbouring country’s involvement.
Global Support for Bharat
All major powers, except China, stood with Bharat and pointed fingers towards Pakistan directly or indirectly. China, though condemned the attack, tactically kept mum over JeM or Pakistan. Israel has come out openly and ensured support for all retaliatory action. In a significant development, France has said that it would move proposal at UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar which has claimed responsibility of the Pulwama terror strike that left more than 40 CRPF personnel dead. This will be the second time that France will be a party to such a proposal at the UN. In 2017, the US, supported by the UK and France had moved a proposal at the UN Sanctions Committee 1267 to ban the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit. However, the proposal was blocked by China which is a time tested friend of Pakistan! How do we play this psychological war along with the military operations depends on the investigation and the way we handle the narrative internally.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the J&K police are investigating into the ‘minutes’ of the attack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has informed the nation that he has given full freedom to the commanders of the armed forces to decide what, when and how to respond to the perpetrators of February 14 terror attack. The immediate focus is on Pakistan, and it has to be both diplomatically and militarily. At the same time, the complex internal and external dimensions of what has been and is happening in J&K (particularly in the Kashmir valley) cannot be ignored.
“Dear @ImranKhanPTI, you have Jaish chief Masood Azhar sitting in Bahawalpur & masterminding the attacks with ISI help. Go, pick him up from there. If you can’t, let us know, we’ll do it for you. BTW what has been done about the proofs of Mumbai’s 26/11 attack? Time to walk the talk.” — Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM, on Twitter The enemies of India (including Pakistan), the extraterritorial fundamentalist terrorist organisations focusing on separation of Kashmir region from India – The Lashkar or JeM are terrorist organisations that have a presence on both sides of the border. They operate from safe havens in the territories that are not directly under Indian control as well as through some proxies cultivated within the Indian territories. They (adversaries) are not immediately under the legal / administrative control of the Government of India and hence have to be handled through (i) direct & indirect military offensive (ii) pressures from the international community / allies (iii) possible socio-economic strangulations. The incumbent Modi government could go for something like replicating ‘Israel’ or and Obama models ; cutting off diplomatic channels temporarily, and the military options to be decided appropriately by the armed forces and political leadership.
The anti-India elements / institutions / organisations directly operating from within the country: The known separatist and terrorist organisations created and nurtured by Pakistan from time to time like Hurriyat or JKLF. They even use military methods for terrorising the local population and making use of local exploitable soft targets through any possibly existing or cultivable social, communal, economic, ideological and even historical doubts / controversies. These elements can be handled / eliminated / booked by (i) force (military might & under the existing laws of the land) to a great extent and (ii) by making the common masses aware as regards the sincerity/ unbiased policies of the State Government/ Union government about the social, communal, economic, ideological and historical identities & needs of the common masses free from any individual ethnic / communal/ sectoral/ regional considerations. The simple economic ‘baits’ will not pay and have also not yielded much good so far. These were the same elements who were enjoying security cover and all other facilities from the Government of India under the Constitution they reject. No tolerance on terror approach should end all immunity to these elements.
The security forces can surely make the local environment free of the militants & enemy agents, but it is the political leadership that has to ultimately seal all the channels that the enemy can use for cultivation of ideological pollution/ separatist viewpoints amongst the common masses, particularly in Kashmir valley The recent suicide terror attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of South Kashmir where unarmed CRPF personnel were martyred has pushed the people of Bharat in the state of shock and anger. Common citizens are asking the Government of India to launch a military offensive against Pakistan. The entire nation has been outraged by this incident and events thereafter. The explosive-laden Fidayeen attack was carried out by a youth hailed from Kashmir but trained by Pakistan, having links with the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). More shocking is the way Pakistan has responded to the stern attack by Bharat.Those from within the country (particularly within J&K) leading the (i) cultivating controversial information about the historical events /facts & the governments of the past ( particularly the 1947 partition of India, the two nation theory, Oct 1947 accession of J&K with India & choices before Maharaja Hari Singh (ii) cultivating divisive ideologies by making use of sectoral / regional/ ethnic identities (iii) and negative role of even some of those who are required to fight out those cultivating wrong or divisive information but may not be doing their duty truthfully and effectively on ground thereby making the common people even soft targets of those who directly work to weaken the integrity as well as economy of a nation like India through separatist ideologies and game plans.
The ground status as regards “Dimension Three” as exists this day could be simply commented upon by saying that as on date even ideologues who profess (i) Autonomy for Kashmir (J&K) from India Nation State or (ii) profess that solutions to the “Kashmir issue” of their imaginations lying in proposals like ‘Achievable Nationhood’ or (iii) those who still declare on the floor of Legislature / Parliament that in October 1947 J&K had only acceded to India and has not merged with India like was done by other princely states of British India Empire after they acceded to India dominion in 1947/48 are still considered mainstream individuals / groups /political parties by the National leadership / Government of India.
The stone pelters started openly attacking our forces whenever they fight with terrorists since Mehbooba became the Chief Minister! She also ensured that criminal cases were withdrawn against 10,000 stone pelters. Any action against these stone-pelters is portrayed as the human-rights violations and potential for creating terrorists. It is also alleged that after the pressure from human rights organisations she was the one who had withdrawn the check-posts leading to the point where the terror attack took place. When some so-called mainstream political parties, after taking oath under the Constitution of India, protect and nurture such fundamentalist mindset, then it is very difficult to respond to the sinister plot of Pakistan.
No wonder, even after Pulwama ghastly attack still stone pelters have the guts to pelt stone at soldiers by coming out in the open as they know no shoot at sight orders have been given to Army!
The loose handling with regard to the third dimension by the Government of India / by the National leadership has been providing some easy ground for the cultivation of separatist mindset, the growth of myths/ controversies with regard to the accession of J&K in the Union of India. This has also created some local pockets that may not be for India and for separatist. Even Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India have been given some ‘distancing’ look from the Indian point of view by some so-called ‘mainstream’ leadership.
Even a leader of a mainstream political party had said in Srinagar that in case Article-370 is removed (taken away) ‘she’ would be the first to pick up a gun and she is still the unquestioned part of that party. Farooq Abdullah, a leader from another political party from the valley, publically proclaimed that Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir is the Pak territory that is contrary to the resolution passed by the Parliament of India on February 22, 1994. Surely such actions / opinions pollute the information bank of the new generations.
The security forces can only make the local environment free of the militants and enemy agents, but in a democratic country, it is only the political leadership that has to ultimately plug all the channels that the enemy can use for cultivation of ideological pollution/ separatist viewpoints amongst the common masses The Government of India must set the immediate priority on clearly naming the silver line differentiating the Separatist from the mainstream. The diplomatic and military initiatives such as mooting resolutions against Pakistan, seeking custody of the likes of Masood Azhar, eliminating Pakistani military posts along the LoC and camps across LOC/IB, isolating Pakistan diplomatically through ensuring more economic sanctions from the US, European Union (EU) and even China like sales of weapons, nuclear fuel, armaments, development aid could be the other options to work with, but setting the internal narrative right is also the simultaneous focus.
(The writer is J&K-based senior journalist and social activist)