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Post-Pulwama attack: Challenges and available options

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Farah Adeed |

Pulwama incident has produced nothing unexpected. Any serious students of Political Science or International Relations could have told the Indian reaction, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) narrative, and mob violence in advance. Who hit Pulwama? There are many answerers, multiple conspiracy theories and various conflicting versions offered by Indian political elite, the military establishment, and media. A struggle for truth in the post-truth world is not only complex but also infuriating and quite upsetting.

There are three dominant narratives which attempt to explain a simple question; who is behind Pulwama tragedy which claimed the lives of 40 Indian soldiers?

Firstly, Indian media and the ruling party decided just after a few moments of the incident to blame Pakistan. Sober journalists, angry female anchors, and crying public were on the same page; destroy Pakistan at any cost. Many in Pakistan were expecting a little different reaction from English speaking, western-trained Indian journalists.

In the present scenario, Pakistan is becoming increasingly a reliable state before the world and India is facing a tough time before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Commander Khulhushan case.

They are expected to do a little research and some investigation to draw terrible conclusions. Indian media disappointed many in the media industry across the world when it decided not to question the official version of the Pulwama incident and stood by the BJP without asking any question.

Secondly, a considerable majority working in media, politics, and civil society in Pakistan maintain that the Pulwama tragedy is beneficial for none other than the BJP. Since the ruling party in Indian has nothing substantial to offer to its people to get elected once again. Therefore, Pulwama, Indian false flag, happened which has diverted the attention of Indian media and public which is something the BJP was eagerly waiting for.

Now the ruling party in India can appeal public if it assures them that a befitting, well-measured response shall be given to Pakistani aggression, ‘an act of war’. Some of the Indian analysts also believe that no doubt electoral wins are ensured by making alliances and invoking identities at local levels but at the same time, a national narrative is something which helps to make a party’s position dominant. This is what the BJP is doing at the moment.

Read more: Post-Pulwama: Kashmiri spirit and Indian instability, both on rise

Thirdly, there is a minority view which offers a politically odd explanation of the Pulwama tragedy. Some analysts believe that the establishment in Pakistan wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stay in the office for more five years. PM Modi a hardliner who has always spoken against Muslims and Pakistan to maximize his political support across India is someone who helps to strengthen military its position in Pakistan.

The argument is that the Pakistani establishment does not want any progressive or genuinely democratic leader as the PM of India since its heroism at home will get discarded. The bottom line is that an end to Indian threat refers to an end to the military’s political and economic power in Pakistan. Therefore, Pulwama tragedy may have some links with Pakistan-based non-state actors which might have done something to get Mr. Modi elected once again.

Nobody has conclusive evidence to draw empirically verifiable evidence. Hence, let’s not get into it. What is the way forward? India needs to step down from the ill-thought position it has taken after the killing of its soldiers. Emotionalism needs to be immediately replaced with reason.

Finally, India needs to reconsider its policy of force and suppression in Kashmir where a vast majority of the population is struggling for their right to self-determination. At the same time, Pakistan must focus on bringing her house in order.

India may form an independent commission to probe into the matter and give actionable evidence to Pakistan if any and present it before the world as well. It will help India punish her presumed enemies sitting in Pakistan and also to isolate Pakistan if it is able to prove her a state sponsoring terror.

In the present scenario, Pakistan is becoming increasingly a reliable state before the world and India is facing a tough time before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Commander Khulhushan case. More dangerously, India, the world’s largest democracy and a secular state, is now persistently moving backward to become an anti-Muslim, extremist Hindu state.

Repeated cases of mob violence, ludicrous claims made by politicians and unnecessary statements issued by Indian armed forces are something continuously lessening the secularistic sheen of Indian constitution. It will ultimately lead India to a new dark age in the 21st century.

Read more: Kashmiris all over India fear for their lives after Pulwama attack

Factually speaking, after Pulwama, it is India that has lost much, not Pakistan. Indian media, its narrative, the capability of armed forces, undue use of force in Kashmir and its inherent desire to isolate Pakistan not only gotten exposed but also the world disapproved them. This is a moment to sit down, deliberate on policy options and ensure peace and order in the country. Modi needs to be reminded that system matters more than individuals.

As a matter of fact, the state of Pakistan has also been accused of using religion to safeguard its so-called strategic interests. This is nothing new since Europe and America have also done the same years ago to obtain their political and strategic interest but the problem with Pakistan is that it has failed to offer any convincing explanation to justify its support for religiously extremist groups.

Read more: Voices inside India blame Modi for Pulwama

Finally, India needs to reconsider its policy of force and suppression in Kashmir where a vast majority of the population is struggling for their right to self-determination. At the same time, Pakistan must focus on bringing her house in order.

Farah Adeed is a Senior Research Analyst in GVS. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s Editorial Policy. 

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