Yet another ghastly attack on the Indian Armed Forces. The perpetrators the usual JEM. Our response… well thats the tricky part.
URI2??? Or another measured silence??? or some other Out-Of-Box response that will catch all of us by surprise.
The timing of this attack puts Modi in a very uncomfortable situation. The recent hit movie URI, seen by a majority of Indians has brought in focus the perils of serving in the Indian Armed Forces specifically those deployed in the conflict zone. It, also for the first time, brought into the focus the aftermath of such attacks especially for the family and the loved ones of the martyrs. Earlier we used to focus only on the soldiers. I am hundred percent sure that today, for the first time, all the thoughts of the people of India are with the family of the soldiers who were martyred. Every one of us is picturing a wife, a daughter, a son, a mother of each of the these soldiers. Yes, it’s a difficult day today.
Emotions are running high… everyone wants revenge. But you must also realise that the Pakistani Army, who surely is responsible for this in some capacity, will be on high alert. The JEM will also be on high alert. So that leaves URI2 as a high risk option. Modi will also need to take into consideration the LokSabha elections which are due in a couple of months. Any miscalculation can be disastrous. But at the same time, if his actions bear fruits, it will guarantee a second term.
Pulling out of the Indus water treaty is a more diplomatic options, plus, we could also stop all trades with Pakistan. But will it really be crippling?
Also, since the attack is fresh, all media outlets will be harping ‘Revenge’ but this narrative will change over the coming days to a more moderate tone as the usual Pakistani sympathisers who are hiding today, will start appearing in the news studios and social media sphere and blabber about how an unproportionate response could diminish the support for this Fight-Againt-Terror.
I personally think, that if the Indian Govt can, they should take out Masood Azhar soon. And may be a few others just as a cherry on the cake. Some sort to armed escalation would also help. But this will require elaborate planning and could be expensive also. This has an added risk that if it spirals out of control so close to the national elections, it could undo all the work done in the last 5 years by this govt. Plus this would undoubtedly invite pressure from the international community, primarily US & China. But it’s an options none the less.
Either which way he choses, Modi’s political acumen will be tested this time. He himself has come out and said that the sacrifice of the jawans will not be in vain. His senior ministers have also echoed the same. So this has to manifest in tangible actions else the opposition will make this a poll issue. If there is no response, then the Congress President will not stop screaming about it in all his rallies leading upto the polls. All the other members of the Thugbandhan will also be critical of how the issue was be handled by the PMO.
So as it stands, this is a difficult time for the nation and it’s leadership. All eyes will be on the PMO. I hope that the action Modi choses, surprises us. Honestly, I don’t think the end to this conflict is near. It’s a vicious cycle. But in this day & age, no retaliation is a sign of cowardice rather than upholding of Gandhian principles.