Pakistan has ‘denounced’ the terror attack at Pulwama in Kashmir in which 40 CRPF men lost their lives last week. It is like the brutally minded organiser of massacre solemnly joining the assembly of mourners. The young Kashmiri who was brainwashed by Jaish-e-Muhammad to gain the reward of residing in a “house with running water in heaven by killing men who do not believe in Allah” was too blinded by indoctrination to know Azhar Masood was using him as a proxy.
The reality is it is a proxy chain: Kashmiris are being used as proxies by Jaish-e-Muhammad and other terror groups operating from the soil of Pakistan, and the terror groups are being used as proxies by Pakistan’s de facto military regime. Pakistan’s tears are not crocodile tears but wolf tears. Another farcical tears were seen in the eyes of China. They condemned the attack but did not condemn Jaish-e-Mohammad or Pakistan. If one were to read China’s regret plainly it could mean the massacre happened without anyone having any role in it! It is a pity that a country that itself faces terror groups in a province plays soft when the attack is on India, the enemy of its friend.
Jaish-e-Muhammad lay low until 2017 when it started launching terror attacks. It’s dangerous revival speaks of the direct and indirect support the Pakistani government and army has been giving it. The fact that the Pakistan government and army have done so despite the US-led global pressures on them to stop terror groups recruiting, training and funding on the country’s soil goes to show that Islamabad does not care for international action when it comes to creating troubles for India. And with Pulwama attack Pakistan has sent out a message to the world that it would keep attacking India using proxies.
With the government and army help, Jaish-e-Muhammad has been able to recruit young Kashmiris to do its bidding under the patronage of the Pakistan government. With a number of Kashmiris joining the terror group the security forces have to fight a two-pronged battle: the first to check infiltration of terrorists from across the border and the other to keep surveillance on local youth who carry out orders of their masters from across the border.
With the world denouncing the terror attack Pakistan appears to be isolated for the moment. Even the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin-Salman has cut short his planned visit to Pakistan, a move which is seen by the international community as intended by the prince to show to the world that he would go on with the visit but would not be very indulgent with and benevolent to Pakistan, as it would be seen as indirectly being over-friendly to and supportive of a government that supports terror groups.
All political parties of India are united in giving a befitting reply to Pakistan, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has threatened. Following the attack India has withdrawn the “most favoured nation” status accorded to Pakistan and decided to impose 200 per cent customs duty on imports from that country. With the trade between the two countries worth a mere $2 billion, it is unlikely that such an action would have any impact on Pakistan’s mindset. India needs to take stronger punitive measures to make Pakistan stop overt or covert support to terror.
Pulwama is not the first attack by a terror group based in Pakistan and will not be the last, unless the Indian government, the political parties, the security forces and the civil society arrive at a consensus to take some major risks by hitting out at key targets in Pakistan. India’s counter terror policy is unlike that of America or Israel which believes in teaching the attackers a major lesson for every major attack.
India has maintained great calm after terror attacks in the past and chosen the path of taking the issue to the world community in order to try and increase the ‘isolation’ of Pakistan. As far as this part is concerned, the images of India and Pakistan stand totally in contrast in the eyes of the world community.
Pakistan is seen as a breeding ground for terror groups. However, so far neither the leading lights of the political parties nor the Army of Pakistan have cared for transforming the ‘terror breeding ground’ image of their country. But one day when the younger Pakistanis will be sick of their demoniacal collective image, they will be forced to. In the meantime, the government and political parties of India should take more effective measures to reduce the alienation in Kashmir which makes the ground fertile for Pakistani recruitment and indoctrination by distorting the tenets of Islam.