I wrongly imagined that the Pakistan-backed attack on Pathankot was the last straw to break the camel’s back. India should have verbally bombed Pakistan, but we continue to remain comfortably numb, naturally aligning with our image of unnecessarily being a tolerant nation, at least at such terrible times. We no longer need to reflect that perception any more, not when such heinous incidents keep piling up.
Tough-talking Ajit Doval has said India will engage with Pakistan only when action is taken against those responsible. Fair enough. But that’s it? Irrefutable proof is in our hands. Leaving the ball in Pakistan’s court no longer has any meaning. Talking is important, only the language needs to change.
Last week, the foreign ministry had said that Pakistan must deliver prompt and decisive action on the evidence provided by India of the terror attack on January 2 at the air force base in Pathankot. Seven military personnel were martyred and another 20 injured when six terrorists crossed the border and launched the massive attack.
The assault happened barely a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an impromptu stopover at Lahore to wish Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. Modi did his karma. Sharif has guaranteed Narendra Modi that his Government will investigate and uncover the diabolical plan. But again… same old, same old.
The chaos that has erupted in India after the attack is wicked in nature. Media, the opposition, and the armchair-intellectuals are all acting like opportunists. At a time like this, India should have remained cohesive. Congress and the opposition ought to shed political enmity and rally around the Prime Minister. This is a national crisis, not precursor to an election.
Narendra Modi is taking bold steps to bring some sanity to Indo-Pak relations and that is indigestible to many Modi-bashers. This is a moment to rise above personal differences, not indulge in game of thrones.
Of course, there were security lapses that facilitated the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base. But equally crucial is the fact that our security personnel acted with great alacrity once the assault began. They did not allow the loss of lives to reach greater levels. Attacks happen everywhere. Sometimes they are prevented, but at most times, it’s not logistically possible to prohibit terrorist actions in a susceptible nation like India. The question is, how swiftly did we get into action once the attack began. Pretty swiftly.
Lives were lost. That’s damage that a vulnerable nation like India can only work towards minimizing. It can never be completely prevented. With the size and large number of people on the base, the damage inflicted by the terrorists could have been worse. It wasn’t, thanks to our bravehearts!