Millennium Post

Talking peace

Confident that dialogue is a far better alternative than war, Imran Khan's assertiveness that Pakistan is on the same side as India when it comes to terrorism was on display in a video message addressed to India. In his response to the allegations made by India, Pakistan PM stressed on how there was no evidence to make any such accusation. His late response to the entire incident was backed by Pakistan hosting the Saudi Crown Prince for an investment conference which, as per them, had higher priority than a national accusation of being responsible for carrying out a terrorist attack in the neighbouring country. It most certainly would have diverted attention away from the conference as Imran Khan said since the severity of the issue was unparalleled given the sensitive equation of Kashmir for a long time now. Addressing India's allegation of Pakistan's alleged involvement, Imran Khan questioned the benefit that Pakistan could possibly accrue out of Pulwama attack. Citing how Pakistan has been fighting the war against terrorism for the past 15 years, it would certainly not let anything come in its stride towards stability. Asserting that Pakistan will act on any intelligence India has that reveals Pakistan's involvement, it warned India of retaliation should India choose war. Imran Khan's repetitive stance that it is a new Pakistan under him which possesses a novel mindset open to resolving issues, such as Kashmir and an interest that its soil is not used to breed terrorism is reduced to a populist statement in the absence of their lack of efforts regarding the same. Instead of asking India for evidence, it can proactively convene an investigation into the same since their novel mindset stresses on resolving the Kashmir conundrum; and Pulwama is very much Kashmir in a rational sense. Defensive stance is an expected one – especially in the light of such a fresh and strong accusation regarding the three-decade-long problem of insurgency. Often in defence, there are postulations crafted on lapses in else's part which strengthen the defence. Imran Khan's opinion that "Kashmiris are not afraid of death anymore" does point out the turbulent situation of Kashmir, particularly the youth, however, lacks the consideration of the fact that it is the insurgency that has aggravated turbulence, that too to the extent that India had to suffer such a dastardly attack. Insurgency, something that Pakistan understands too well for it has fought wars with India and shared a sensitive Line of Control over the years, witnessing incessant instability. His calm and composed response and his readiness to discuss terrorism did have the eagerness for dialogue but that is something India has been always offering when it came to resolving the Kashmir impasse. His caution of retaliation is where Imran Khan completed the defensive addressal as the top incumbent. No nation can withstand unsubstantiated allegations and ruckus over a possible attack on them which is why his comment on retaliation stands apart, especialy in the wake of Modi giving the nod to Indian Army for a 'response' to the Pulwama incident. The sour relations between the two nations have not seen grand efforts for improvement despite Imran Khan's appointment and his audacious claim to hold talks with India, and Pulwama further degrades it. While India raged with vengeance in the wake of Pulwama, with people raising their voices demanding revenge, a diplomatic solution has been a more desirable alternative. It is also the most rational way ahead. Even a small-scale search for JeM militants backed by intelligence cost us five lives. Pakistan's apprehensions due to India's rage should not make them defensive and ready for retaliation. If there had to be any war, there would not be such delay by India which is why the option of war is struck off the list, as always. India's attempt was to persuade Pakistan in eradicating terror outfits, such as JeM, who are responsible for repeated insurgencies. Uri and now Pulwama, India has bled every time the deranged ideals of these terrorists have materialised. India only wants peace, as much as Pakistan, who asserted it through their strong address, does. Then there shouldn't be any apprehension of wars. India does not have a first aggressor policy so Pakistan should pursue dialogue because the collective interest cites a solution for Kashmir, much like Afghanistan, and an end to the perpetuated conflict. It is only the unanimous attempt at resolving the issue which will prove decisive in this conflict for wars have been fought and surgical strikes have been undertaken with a whole lot of diplomacy hovering over the beautiful state. Kashmir has been a battleground for far too long and that has taken a toll on its youth who are the newest element in the prolonged ambiguity that has shrouded the valley.

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