Reason has prevailed over Pakistan and they have decided to release the Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in their custody on Friday. A few hours before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the pilot’s release US President Donald Trump opened his press conference in Hanoi with the words he had “some decent news” about India and Pakistan ending tension. The release has obviously come after the US worked with both the governments. Before the US intervention, Pakistan had been trying to blackmail India by making it conditional that they would be ready to release the Indian Air Force pilot in their custody if India agrees to de-escalate. India rejected the blackmail. Heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack and the attack by Indian Air Force on Jaish-e-Muhammad camps at Balakot led to a war-like situation. Pakistan invited criticism for attempting to attack military assets of India in retaliation of India’s attack on a non-military target. The Indian government accused Pakistan of resorting to unprovoked aggression and lodged strong protest with the deputy envoy of Pakistan in New Delhi. The deputy envoy was also told that Pakistani jet planes had targeted military installations in India.
Pakistan has been trying its best to divert the world’s attention to Indian attack. The real issue is the patronage to terror groups the Pakistan government is providing. India’s fight is for the dismantling of the terror groups operating from the soil of Pakistan. Unless Pakistan takes firm and clear steps in that direction India cannot declare it would not attack the terror group camps or other targets in self defence. And India’s stand has gained international community’s approval. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have moved a fresh proposal at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist. If the proposal goes through in the UNSC Azhar would be subjected to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo which will render him and his organisation ineffective. Let us hope better sense prevails over China and it does not block the proposal, which it has been doing for years together. Given the threat that terrorists pose to peace and security in the region and the world it is high time that world leaders join hands to eliminate the scourge of terrorism before they succeed in doing more harm. There is need for global war to end terrorism and the world leaders should exercise their role effectively and help any country fighting terrorism with all support it needs to end terrorism.
After initial bravado Imran Khan has realized that his country has more to lose than gain and has offered to defuse tension through talks. Seeking to justify Pakistan’s action post- Balakot strike by IAF he went on to state that Pakistan’s action was only intended to convey that his country too could retaliate. A realistic assessment of the situation over the issue has made Khan realize that his country would not be able to withstand if India decides to take the war to logical end. Even though he has sought to call for restraint he has failed to say anything about dismantling of terror camps operating in his country or acting against the perpetrators of terror. Despite being isolated Pakistani authorities appear to be still steadfastly on the side of terror.
It is time that Pakistani authorities realize that their country’s image has been besmirched not by anything but terror that is operating from its territory. Not only has development of Pakistan been stunted by criminal acts of terrorism but it has also given a bad name to Islam, which JeM has been misusing to further its terror activities. As the JeM owned the Pulwama attack, and also all the leads pointed to its involvement in the attack, Pakistan can no longer afford to plead innocence in allowing the terror group to operate on its soil. As global leaders are working towards the global ban on JeM, India should provide all the dossiers it has on the organization and its terror attacks to them, so the UNSC passes the resolution and forces Pakistani authorities to totally dismantle terror camps and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama and Pathankot attacks as also the 26/11 attack to justice. It is perhaps the last opportunity for Pakistan to give up its hypocrisy of fighting one kind of terror groups and protecting and promoting the other kind of them.