Morning air raid at JeM camp Terrorism central to it


When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This is the message that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered in giving the armed forces a free hand in hitting out at terrorist camps, best exemplified by the air raid at the ‘biggest camp’ of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) across the border at Pakistan. The air raid followed the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, angering the Nation as a whole. Give it back, let them have it, time for retribution was the gut feeling amongst the people of the country and the air raid seemed to assuage the hurt feelings of all. Not the first time that India has bled at the hands of terrorists and one just need to recall the Mumbai terror attack, the attack on Parliament, the bomb blast at Sorijini Nagar Market in New Delhi which killed numerous civilians, etc etc. It was against this backdrop that reports of the air raid was greeted by the people of the country. This much is clear. What however is not that clear is the number of casualties in the JeM camp across the border. India has already put the casualties at 200 to 300 terrorists killed in the air raid but reports from different news channel suggest something else. Again what is not very clear is the report that an F-16 fighter plane of Pakistan has been brought down with the plane crashing beyond the LOC. What however is clear that a Wing Commander of the Indian Airforce is today in the custody of Pakistan. This is where the offer of Pakistan Prime Imran Khan to India for talks gains credence, for ultimately what one is talking about here is a military confrontation between two nuclear powers and hence there can be no victor.
The Pakistan Prime Minister made sense in asserting that with the weapons the two countries have, no one can afford a miscalculation. This much is true. What the Pakistani Prime Minister however conveniently stepped aside or skirted is the core issue at hand-Terrorism-which is central to the stand off between the two countries. It would have been much more credible on the part of Pakistan if the talk offer had come with the assurance that Islamabad will not tolerate terror activities from its soil. That the Prime Minister of Pakistan conveniently overlooked to address this key issue is what is hard to digest. No negotiations with terror groups and by extension it could well mean no negotiation with any country that turns a blind eye to terror camps operating from its soil-Will not be surprising if the BJP led Government at New Delhi adopts this line of thinking and take note already a number of countries which have suffered the brunt of terrorism have adopted the line ‘no negotiations with terror groups’ such as Israel. India obviously need to do more. If, as reported, there were heavy damages inflicted in the air raid, then this should be followed by something more substantive. New Delhi should also learn from the past and come to the point that Masood Azhar was one among the three terrorists to be released after the hijacking of Indian Airlines IC 814 back in 1999. In many ways the present stand off may be traced to the hijacking of IC 814 in 1999 and the subsequent release of Masood Azhar.

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