By Manahil Khan
Feb 27th marks the first anniversary of a blatant military misadventures by India, earning her embarrassment when Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan was seen on television screens appreciating hospitality of Pakistan in prison.
February 27, 2019 was the red letter day for Pakistan when Indian jets, SU-27 and Mig-21, intruded in Pakistani territory and were shot by brave Pakistan Air Force.
Downing of two Russian-made fighter jets in a single dogfight earned a bad name to Russian military hardware manufacturers also. It sent a loud and clear message all over the world that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is smarter than any air force on earth and man behind the gun matters rather than the gun itself.
The retribution by Pakistani Air force in response to the illegal violation by India resulted in the capture of Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in Azad Kashmir. It amplified the already existing tensions between the two rivals after the Pulwama Attack.
This brazen attack was considered ostensibly orchestrated as India’s response to the self-created assumption on Pulwama. Though this “misadventure” by Indian forces did not harm Pakistan on a large scale; other than damaging a few trees, it proved that India had called for trouble on her own.
Indian military morale and self-esteem was shattered due to Pakistan’s assertive response and they faced shame in front of the entire nation. The truth is that BJP itself did not prove to be sincere with India’s military forces and had used, rather manipulated it to advocate party’s particular agendas against Pakistan and promote “Modi’s Version of Hindutva”.
This created a rift between BJP and Indian Military forces as the misuse of Indian forces damaged the internal fiber of Indian forces.
In such circumstances, a military reaction of the same scale from Pakistan would have been obvious, but unlike India, Pakistan decided to extend a hand towards peace by returning the prisoner of war safe. The custody of Abhinandan by Pakistan, distressed the collective conscience of all the Indians. His internment was traumatic for Indian government and it blew them away.
The Indian government started demanding the immediate release of their pilot and Indian social media was flooded with people condemning Pakistan to have captured him. It is quite astonishing, rather ironic that India with such confidence was dictating Pakistan to return their pilot who had breached the LOC and violated the International Law.
In this pretext, a video was released by Pakistan government in which Abhinandan was seen safe and sound while having a cup of tea, as he gave a statement, “the tea is fantastic”, which got very viral in the international community since he paid for it at the cost of IAF MiG-21. The hospitality of Pakistan made it appear to the world, as a country having a peaceful approach; in the context of existing tensions with India as it had accused Pakistan of backing Pulwama Attack without any evidence. This approach of Pakistan was depiction of a wise, rational and a responsible country, with a hostile neighborhood.
India, since her independence, has acted on the unethical grounds of militancy and extremism. Having a status of the most powerful actor in the dynamic region of South Asia, this kind of irrational behavior by India can lead to instability and disorder in the entire region. The actors possessing power in a certain region have the international responsibility to ensure order and avoid the peculiar situations that might lead to conflict. But surprisingly, India’s conduct is totally antagonistic to this theory. India has always chosen the aggressive path to address the international issues, especially when it comes to its direct neighbor – Pakistan.
In spite the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear state and her capabilities cannot be overlooked, India has always negated the reality and adopted violent means in her approach towards Pakistan. Pakistan’s signification of her conventional capabilities on many occasions, and her tenacious stance on the Kashmir issue, very well demonstrate that Pakistan’s aptitude and determination, are far better than that of India; and so it should NOT be taken for granted. Presently the irrational steps taken by India, such as Revocation of Article 370, the Citizenship Amendment Act and the 8 months long-ongoing Curfew in Kashmir, (to name a few) are a clear manifestation of the extremist Hindutva policies by the Indian government and their motive to suppress the Muslims.
It is high time that the International community must realize, India’s rising Hindutva is no less than a clear threat to the stability of the entire region and can lead to serious consequences similar to what is happening in the Middle East.
The Western powers have been accentuating the necessity to fight extremism in all parts of the world, but have failed to address the Hindu extremism and forcible suppression of the BJP.
It is imperative to understand that India and Pakistan are two important nuclear powers and any escalation between the two could lead to terrible repercussions. Both Pakistan and India have had a fluctuating pattern of confrontations followed by peace and again leading to war, thus lacking uniformity. Currently under the leadership of BJP, the Anti-Pakistan Rhetoric is striding across the entire country leading to the formulation of hostile mindsets of Indian citizens towards Pakistan. This abuse of power by BJP is highly dangerous for the future of both countries.
To conclude, it has become crystal clear to India that Pakistani Forces are extremely well trained, and highly motivated. They have proved their strength every now and then, be it on the ground, in air or the seas. The main point to ponder about is, till when will Pakistan keep offering a cup of tea as a response to Indian vexatious, exasperating attitudes? India needs to learn a lesson from her engagements with Pakistan so far and avoid any circumstances leading to serious troubles for her own self.