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In the wake of Pulwama

In the wake of Pulwama

A week has gone by since we lost our soldiers in the Pulwama incident which shook the nation, inflicting utter grief and sparking public outrage demanding apposite retribution to the indifferent neighbour. Pulwama happened at a time when Imran Khan had made an audacious claim of a novel Pakistan 'more than willing' to do the unprecedented: Resolve the perpetuated conflict over Kashmir through dialogue. Crafting healthy relations with India was his motive as he took office and yet the indifferent attitude, supplemented by a cautionary note to India of retaliation should we choose war, eclipses his 'naya Pakistan' ideology. Asking India for "actionable intelligence" as a prerequisite for any action on their account blemishes the novel Pakistan's 'more than willing' attitude to resolve the conflict. Though a unanimous conclusion over Pulwama cited how it was the biggest attack on Kashmir, India must also consider the other aspect of it – biggest failure of intelligence and security. Given how heavily guarded the highway is, such an attack of this magnitude would not have ever materialised if it was not for grave lapses on the intelligence's part. India wonders how 330 Kgs of explosives could be roaming free in the state's highway without a word or a scent about it – especially since Kashmir is infested with security checkpoints and the ever-present army across the state. Moreover, a local youth carrying out an attack of this scale further rubs salt on sore wounds. The radicalisation of youth had never seemed more real. Pulwama has given a ravaging blow to peace efforts between the two nuclear nations in their bid to craft healthy relations with each other. While India took drastic measures to isolate Pakistan in the international community, Indians have by and far opined on more drastic machinations such as an eye for an eye response to the height of even obliterating the neighbour. Such is the anguish – and quite expectedly. But wars are not a solution in the contemporary world and hence India's attempt to go on a diplomatic offensive has been the best way forward. United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in its resolution, reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms constitutes as one of the biggest threats to the international peace and underlined the need to hold the perpetrators, financers, and associates of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable; urging to bring them to justice. The resolution – blacklisting JeM – was adopted unanimously by the UNSC, with the surprise inclusion of China who had on its part single-handedly blocked three previous attempts at Pakistan's behest in 2009, 2016 and 2017. Besides bringing the international community to its support, India also withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. MFN was given to Pakistan in 1996 to ensure minimal possible tariffs, fewest trade barriers in a comfortable trade environment that India had deemed fit for Pakistan in the wake of improving relations with the ever-troubling neighbour. It is another story that we had to sustain Kargil in 1999 but India did not withdraw MFN despite that. Slapping a 200 per cent duty on all imports from Islamabad besides stopping its share of water from Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, which flows into Pakistan, and diverting it to supply the water to J&K and Punjab instead. Pakistan, however, could seldom care of what India does with these Eastern rivers since India anyway has full authority over them as per the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. But a move on the Western rivers – Jhelum, Chenab and Indus – would really bug Pakistan, inciting strong retaliation. But the flipside of this move could bring China to tamper with Brahmaputra, given how Pakistan is a dear ally of China. As the change in the air due to Pulwama has been experienced on international fronts, it has also stirred matters on the national front. Meanwhile, J&K government moved to SC seeking transfer of 7 Pakistani terrorists from Jammu jail to Tihar citing its apprehensions of these terrorists allegedly indoctrinating local prisoners. Clearly, the impact of such radicalisation from these terrorists on the fellow inmates, the local youth, compounds to an aggregate spread of terrorism and related ideology which is detrimental for the state. The Supreme Court also sprung into action directing Chief Secretaries and DGPs of 11 states to exercise stringent measures against the assault on Kashmiris and minorities post the Pulwama incident. Scores of attacks on Kashmiris and Muslims across the nation have been reported with absurd reactions citing a possible hatred for them which is intolerable. Such turbulences somewhere complete the larger ambition of terror outfits to cause unrest in the nation by spreading across the nation like tremours which emanated from the epicenters like Pulwama (event). All this directs us to how the security apparatus should be reinvigorated with modern tools deployed to enhance national security and to prevent a repeat of Pulwama. And, at the same time manage the internal security which is of equal importance as a turmoil within the country is the least desirable outcome albeit being a most likeable one.

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