by Sarmad Iqbal
Where really we are moving towards? Towards war and bloodshed, towards the path which has been shunned by all the developed nations after they saw the horrors of it and towards a path of self-destruction. Yes, this is where two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors India and Pakistan are heading, they are heading towards a cesspool of agony and torment.
The tension between the two states should have dissolved as soon as Prime Minister Imran Khan assured Indian authorities of cooperation if they could have provided concrete evidence. Unfortunately, India took the violent path and violated Pakistan’s airspace.
Whether or not Indian airforce has been successful in carrying out any airstrikes on alleged JEM training camps in Balakot, Pakistan, it seems clear that both countries have indeed entered a new gloomy and nebulous phase in their bi-lateral relations where Pulwama attack and its aftermath has acted as a heavy blow to any kind of peace process between the two.
If one goes by the news reports of Indian media, then it seems as if they have won some kind of war over Pakistan and now they are on a show of their own peculiar version of jingoism which God knows has been shaped by whom. News anchors and renowned political analysts from across the border are jubilating over a seemingly huge achievement of their country’s airforce but still it seems very odd that despite the fact that they claim to be the responsible citizens of world’s largest democracy but still they have failed to question their national leadership over the extent to which their account of any kind of surgical strike inside their arch-rival Pakistan is true.
When media and society of a country starts blindly adhering to the narrative of a person who is running their country unbothered by the direction he has taken and by how reckless he is, then that society initiates itself an erosion and indeed an eradication of democratic principles within it and this clearly amounts to a lethal damage to society itself, not to the guy who is running the country and probably in a manner in which he can churn out enormous fortunes for personal gain out of its governance.
I was attending a workshop conducted by some foreign journalists in one of Lahore’s renowned educational institutes when I stumbled upon the news of a surgical or air strike by IAF inside Pakistan. Initially, I was a bit perplexed while reading a tirade of tweets with hashtags #SurgicalStrike2 , #Balakot and #HowstheJaish, there were different accounts of the event which accompanied these hashtags as a majority of Indians including renowned faces of press and electronic media were on one hand jubilating a victory of IAF whereas on the other hand Pakistani political pundits were clearly labeling the whole event as some false flag operation by India which has just costed Pakistan few trees in Balakot and not any JEM militant or civilian. Then I came across the statements by Pak army officials as well as Pak foreign minister Mr. Qureshi and Pak PM Imran Khan, from where I just like other Pakistanis was given an officially sanctioned assurance that nothing threatening or huge has happened and indeed Indians were forced to run away by PAF right after they violated airspace of Pakistan.
As I was writing this article, I hear that two IAF jets have been shot down by PAFs a retaliation in response to the yesterday’ violation of Pakistans airspace. The kind of situation that has escalated gives me chills and make me fearful of the potential loss of whatever socio-economic progress these two countries have made until now. I want to send out a message that war should never be an option. In my humble opinion, Mr. Modi should accept Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation to sort out the issue via talks.
This should go without saying that there is no use of warmongering of any sort as if a war will happen between the two nuclear powers, it will only result in a catastrophe. Now it’s the choice of leadership on both sides that whether they want to have a catastrophe or a peaceful future. That’s why to give peace a chance, if not for yourselves then for your future generations.