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  India   All India  20 Feb 2019  World watches as India decides on fitting response to Pulwama

World watches as India decides on fitting response to Pulwama

THE ASIAN AGE. | ASHOK BHAN
Published : Feb 20, 2019, 1:59 am IST
Updated : Feb 20, 2019, 1:59 am IST

The ideology of Pakistan is built on the twin pillars of Islam and antagonism towards India.

BJP supporters light candles as they pay tribute to the CRPF jawans slain in the Pulwama terror attack, in Kolkata on Monday. (Photo: PTI)
 BJP supporters light candles as they pay tribute to the CRPF jawans slain in the Pulwama terror attack, in Kolkata on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

The United States has condemned the brutal Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of at least 44 CRPF soldiers. The White House has asked Islamabad to “immediately end” its “support” to all terror groups and not to provide “safe haven” to them. The White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Pakistan to end its support to terrorist safe havens inside the country.

“We stand with #India as it confronts terrorism. Pakistan must not provide safe haven for terrorists to threaten international security,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “The United States calls on Pakistan to immediately end the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region.”

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday that left at least 44 CRPF soldiers dead and several others critically wounded. This heinous act has outraged the collective conscience of the whole nation. India’s relations with Pakistan have been defined by the partition of British India in 1947, the Kashmir conundrum and the wars fought between the two countries. The relationship has always been marked by conflict, hostilities and suspicion, despite the two South Asian countries sharing common linguistic, cultural, geographical and economic linkages.

Pakistan’s use of terrorist groups as part of its security and foreign policy is a function of its obsession with India, which it perceives as existential threat. The ideology of Pakistan is built on the twin pillars of Islam and antagonism towards India. As a nation state, Pakistan never realised its mission to create a history of its own but it has continued to live with historical appropriation and distortions of the past. Pakistan could acknowledge its Indian heritage as well as the Muslimness of a majority of its population. But instead successive Pakistani governments and the intelligentsia preferred to build the idea of Pakistan on the pillars of Islam and antagonism towards India. But Pakistan”s paranoia regarding India is unfounded.

There have been wars, proxy wars, numerous skirmishes and stand-offs. Many successful attempts to improve relations through the Shimla agreement, the Agra and Lahore summits, and more have fallen apart. Relations soured after the Saichen conflict of 1980, the Kashmir insurgency of 1989 onwards, and the Kargil conflict of 1999. The terror attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 almost brought two nuclear nations to war. The Mumbai terror attack of 2008 by Pakistani terrorists, killing hundreds, and continuing support to terrorists in Kashmir are other attempts by Pakistan to delegitimise the idea of India.

Pakistan is on notice from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and China has removed its objection to put Pakistan on the Grey list by FATF. Pakistan is being placed on global terrorist financing list from June 2018 onwards that would endanger its handful of remaining banking links to outside world causing pain to its economy. Saudi Arabia has also removed its objection and now only Turkey is supporting Pakistan. US President Donald Trump has said it is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who breed, support and finance terror groups.

The Trump administration has charted a South Asia policy in which it has sought a larger role for India in Afghanistan and in South Asia and has put Pakistan on notice. Pakistan’s temper tantrums and petulant responses are unconvincing. It now has to take a hard look at its options. It has to effectively shut down terror snakes being nurtured in the backyard.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received unconditional support from all Opposition parties and the citizenry to deal with Pakistan sternly and flush out terrorists from Kashmir and elsewhere.. The country is resolutely standing behind the Union of India and Prime Minister in this hour.

India does not buy any formula on Kashmir, as it firmly believes terror and talks cannot go together, until Pakistan brings to book the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terrorists killings and accounts for other terror acts executed. The territorial status of Kashmir is clearly not negotiable.

The country expects the government and Prime Minister Modi to act now. It is examining various options, including the military option. As part of its comprehensive strategy, India is resorting to an aggressive diplomatic offensive against Pakistan by mobilising its resources and pressuring the world to declare Pakistan as “terroristan”. The Modi government is required to act decisively; keeping in view that the US needs Pakistan’s help to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan, strike its defence deals with Russia, with China on the side of the Russians.

Therefore India needs an appropriate and calibrated modus operandi to deal boldly with Pakistan. The nation and the global community is anxiously waiting and watching.

The writer is a senior advocate and a political analyst

Tags: pulwama terror attack, mike pompeo