World community’s moral support to India for her air strike on terrorist camps across the LoC is the manifestation of bilateral and multilateral commitment of world powers to fight the menace of terrorism. It was neither aggression nor an offensive action; it was simply a preventive venture because the Jaish had more nefarious designs up its sleeve owing to the support it was receiving from the Generals of Pakistan army.
TheUS had conceded that India had the right to self-defence in the backdrop of Pulwama killings. It was a green signal. Even PM Imran Khan wondered why India had delayed the retaliatory action. After all, he had repeatedly told the US that Pakistan was facing the challenge from terrorists. He had recently said that he expected PM Modi to give peace a chance. Modi did not fail him and has given him an excellent chance by destroying Jaish terrorist camps not only in PoK but also 50 km away deep into Pakistan territory of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It will be reminded that Punjab CM Capt. Amrinder Singh had conveyed to Imran Khan that if he had problems in destroying terrorist camps, India would do it for him. India has kept her promise and now it is Imran Khan who has to settle the score with his Army Generals.
The chance for him is to tell the Pakistani Generals that the world opinion, including that of China and the UN Security Council, is against allowing Pak territory to be used by the terrorists for hostile activity against a neighbouring county. The IAF strike is bound to create fissures not only between the civilian government and the army and intelligence establishments of Pakistan but also within the civil society. The slogans of shame in the Pakistan national assembly were aimed at the defence establishment and not the PM and his government. Any retaliatory action by Pakistan will be certainly devoid of support from the civil society.
Pakistani civil society has already mounted criticism against the army for falsely manipulating Jhadav case in which the ICJ has put Pakistan to shame. Sections of Pakistani media had launched a severe criticism of Pakistan for feeding the civil society with utter falsehood about the case in which an India citizen kidnapped somewhere in Iran-Afghanistan region was paraded as a RAW agent. Pakistani civil society and sections of media have openly said that the Pakistani public and the world were fed with fabricated stories about this case.
What is of more importance to us is to assess the fallout of the air strike on Kashmir politics. It has dealt a very hard blow to pro-Pakistani and pro-Azadi elements including the entire Kashmiri mainstream political spectrum. They have to understand that when it concerns the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Indian State, then the might of the state comes into force. Sheikh Abdullah had to be isolated for nearly 12 long years. Because the deceptive and ambivalent Kashmir political leadership has been pampered for last so many decades by the Congress regimes, the day has come for Kashmiris to realize that they have to live in a realistic world. The Pulwama attack and now the IAF strike has exposed all so-called mainstream political stalwarts in Kashmir. Some of them are thinking which other flags they should carry on their shoulders after setting aside the Indian tricolour. Till yesterday their eyes were fixed on Pakistani flag and since this morning they have shifted the goalpost and are now looking for Chinese flag. This could be the best opportunity for New Delhi to announce abrogation of 35 A that has been clandestinely incorporated into the Constituting, But the government gives due respect to the Apex Court of the country.
Chinese exhortation to both India and Pakistan has a deeper meaning than what one may presume. It tells Pakistan to just survive so that she is able to return the mountain-high debts she owes to Beijing.
The deceptive Kashmir political leadership has found thatthe wind has been taken out of its sails. In utter frustration, one of them posed the question of whether Balakot, the terrorist site that has been razed to the ground is on the Indian side or Pakistani side. This shows how ill-informed this leader is about the geography of the area. For his information, the Balakot that had been made the main headquarter of the Jaish suicide bombers is part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 50 kilometres inside Pakistan territory in PK.
Army has already been given full powers to deal with terrorism in Kashmir Valley. Within just a few days, a large number of Kashmiri second rung leaders have silently expressed their support to any proactive measure by the government to eliminate insurgency. Conditions are highly favourable for the imposition of military rule in three infested districts of South Kashmir. The interned Jaish-e-Mohammedactivists are pulling strings to offer apologies and commitments to disassociate from JeM. In faithful pursuit of their traits of character, most of the hitherto pro-separatist groups will change their narrative and begin to sing eulogies of those who are going to eradicate the menace of militancy from Kashmir. It is a matter of time.
Realizing the political fallout of the IAF strike on domestic politics, the Congress President has come out in support of the strike. |Not only he, even the diehard critic of Modi government but Owaisi has also expressed his firm support to the action taken against terrorists based in the neighbouring country. Impetuous Farooq Abdullah cannot remain stuck to the fence. The entire political scenario in Kashmiris on the brink of going through a sea change. Like wounded jackals, the valley separatist leaders will retire to their hovels so that nobody sees them licking their wounds. Kashmir stands liberated from the skunk into which it had been dragged. Nobody has any objection to the Wahhabization and Salafization of Kashmirian Muslim society, Indian nation the least. The emancipated members among the OIC, realizing that Kashmiris were headed towards self-destruction, are seeking an assurance from Indian foreign minister that she would do all she can to pull them back from the brink of the abyss.
(Prof. K.N. Pandita is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, Srinagar. Views expressed are personal.)