By Syed Ali Mujtaba
The terror attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir is the most ghastly among all such attacks that so far has happened in the restive state. Every Indian’s heart goes out to the families of the security personnel who were killed or injured in that dastardly attack. The family members of the victims of this barbaric terror attack deserve deepest condolences from every Indian.
No doubt the Phulwama terror attack has shaken the nation. The mood of the country is the perpetrators of barbaric act should be brought to justice and the guilty should be punished. Having said that, there are several opinions floating in the media on Indian response to such terror attack have the attraction to carry away our minds and thoughts but as a mature Indian we should weigh the pros and cons of any such ideas before getting into the hate mongers trap.
The first idea making rounds is to go to war with Pakistan. War is not picnic where we can go unprepared. It is not as easy as it sounds. There are huge implications of war and lot of preparation is required for doing that. After the Parliament attack in 2001, India had launched operation ‘Prakarm’ where Indian Army was positioned in confrontation position to go all out for war for many days. However, better sense prevailed among the leadership and Army was finally pulled out from the line of control. So such war mongers should not be given any space and be kept in abeyance.
The second idea making round is to respond to such terror attack is to go all out with another surgical strike. Well this ‘ACE’ we had already used in 2016 when our government carried out the surgical strike on 29 September 2016. We all know the results; terror attack has increased almost 90% in the last four years. Pakistan is now in a much better position to tackle any such surprise strike. It may have plucked all such gaps by now and India may not have the advantage of surprise in any such surgical strike that it had last time.
There are also views that India should unilaterally abrogate the Indus water treaty and should stop water supply to Pakistan. But such ideas have huge international ramification. The fall out of such action will be difficult for India to manage. In any such case, if China blocks ‘Brahmputra’ water flow to India then what will happen? In such case can India go to war with China and Pakistan? So such idea has to be rubbished before it syncs in.
Another idea being circulated is to go for genocide of the Kashmiri Muslims. The logic behind is since all Kashmiris Muslims are terrorists, so best solution to get rid of such people is to do their genocide or mass killing. India already has seven lakhs security personal there and executing such idea is a matter of a government order. This is most diabolic of all the ideas that are being floated on the social media. How India is going to handle the fall out of such mass murder, imagination fails to fathom. Such idea has all the trappings to make Kashmir a Syria. So the idea of genocide is simply insane thinking.
The next idea that’s afloat is to ban the cricketers and artists and other such people from visiting India. It includes doing any business with Pakistan. Well this idea is already in place and further India has revoked the most favored nation to Pakistan. However, even by doing all this will we get any favorable results? And extending it further may stop such terror attacks in future have to be thought out.
Another idea that played upon is the Hindu vs Muslim card. The Hindu community is being egged to blame the Muslim community for such terrorists attack in Kashmir. This is the most heinous idea of all, because Indian Muslims have nothing to do with Kashmir. They are head and shoulders standing behind the nation. Those who are arguing on such lines are actually enemy of the nation and they must be isolated. Both Hindu and Muslim communities should debunk such idea and show maturity on de-linking the terrorists from any religion who are bunch of murders having no religion.
Here it could to be pointed that instead of showing helplessness on the terrorists attack and blaming Pakistani terror group, we should inquire into the security lapses that have led to such large scale terror strike. There are many security agencies in the country that are responsible for our inland security and they are accountable for such lapses. After proper investigation accountability has to be fixed and heads should roll of those found negligent in their duty.
Further, in such case blaming “Aman ki Asha” or hope for peace will not hold any ground. It is a testing time for the entire country. Such terror strike has taken place because of the absence of peace process and it not because of those who are striving for peace in the region. The attack has happened because peace talks have been stalled for long time in Kashmir. The mature way to move ahead would be to open up peace negation with the people of Kashmir and win their confidence.
Last but not the least terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, is a gross failure of the central government’s policy towards Jammu and Kashmir. While government celebrated the surgical strike of 29 September 2016, it failed to control the counter terrorists attack in its aftermath. India demonstrated that it has got the wherewithal to cross the LOC at free will when it conducted the surgical strike on Pakistan but in its aftermath it has shown its own vulnerability getting repeated pounding in its own turf. The current Pulwama terror attack shows that we cannot protect ourselves.
While the government went gung-ho about the surgical strike in 2016, it is now blaming the Pakistani terror outfit rather than owning its own responsibility and admitting its failure. A responsible government should have acknowledged its lapses and taken the blame of the killing of its security personnel, but any such government is bereft of such moral courage. At the end of the day it’s only reduced to condemn terror attack and shed crocodile tears over security forces deaths who have given their supreme sacrifices for defending the nation.
Well it is a time of grief for the entire nation as more than forty security forces has lost their lives but the question remains is Pakistan alone responsible? Will it be incorrect to say that our own government’s ill-conceived Kashmir policy is the reason for the loss of the lives of our security personals? The fact remains that at the heart of the loss of our brave soldiers is the failure of our government to evolve a sound Kashmir policy that could win the trust of the people.
Even there is going to be election time soon in the country, there should not be any politics over such terror attack. Any such blame game would divert attention and lose focus of the problem at hand. The political parties, the intelligentsia and the think tanks should come together and suggest the ways and means to nip problem in the bud so that no such situation ever happen in future.
As peace activists, my prescription is; talks alone could lead a solution for any such problem that may arise in future. Notwithstanding the facts, the fact remains that the entire country stands behind the current government in handling such tense situation.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He is the founder and moderator of the South Asia Contact Group. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org