INDIA PAKISTAN THAW: IT IS IRONIC BUT..

It is ironic but two unfortunate terror strikes have come as the opportunity cost to show verbal restraint in India-Pakistan ties – something that should be identified as a ‘real time real’ development in India-Pakistan thaws.

First it was Pathankot terror strike in India – on Pathankot air base – near the Pakistan border in Indian state of Punjab. The terror strike that began early in the morning of January 1 when, like the whole world, India, too was welcoming the New Year and went on for quite some time. The attack had clear Pakistani imprints (and footprints, literally). Though the attack did not cause much damage, it dragged on for hours and caused irreparable loss with seven Indian soldiers martyred.

And first time in the known history, at least in the recent times, Pakistan reacted sincerely to the leads points its hands there – even if it was under pressure to do so – under US pressure – and under the pressure of Narendra Modi’s surprise Lahore stopover and diplomacy that ensued.

Pakistan condemned the attack and its prime minister’s office released a statement saying Pakistan was seriously working on the leads provided by India and several Jaish-eMuhamman operatives were arrested. The statement also said that a Special Investigation Team was constituted for comprehensive probe. JeM is a Pakistan based terror group that is behind this attack on Pathankot. Its chief Masood Azhar, who was in Indian jail, was swapped in 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident.

It’s true that we cannot expect much from Pakistan. That is visible from its flipflops on Masood Azhar’s arrest.

But we need to appreciate the restraint shown. Pakistan’s ruling establishment and even its military have tried to look sincere this time. Yesterday, a report came that Pakistan had assured the US of no doublespeak in Pathankot terror probe on its soil.

Let’s give Pakistan some time to see what it comes with – as it time and again – after the Pathankot air base attack incident – has reiterated that it will reveal something concrete once the probe is finished.

India bashing was regular in Pakistani media – as usual -as expected – as the stories planted on crackdown on JeM and Masood Azhar’s arrest.

The second indicator came today – with terror strike at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP). Around 25 people were killed when terrorists attacked the University founded in 2012 in the name of Gandhian Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan or Frontier Gandhi.

Like has been the practice in Pakistan, blaming India blindly for every terror strike, was not the case today.

No one in Pakistan’s ruling establishment, including its civilian government and its military, rushed to blame India today – and that was very sincere.

In fact Nawaz Sharif responded sensitively to Narendra Modi’s message in this crisis hour saying “this incident is yet another reminder that terrorism is our common enemy and a cooperative approach is essential to eliminate it from the region.”

Yes, as usual, a section of Pakistani media has been on an overdrive to prove Indian hand in Bacha Khan University attack – blaming Indian Embassy in Kabul and providing some phone numbers that were used – but that looks more like a ‘tit for tat’ – with India’s actionable evident provided to Pakistan in Pathankot attack incident. Hope, Pakistan government it’s all powerful army would not go into that rhetoric.

Pakistan’s ruling establishment knows that linking India to attacks in Pakistan is nothing but to appease the elements in its domestic politics – and the time is not opportune for that. Promoting unrest in India has been a state policy for Pakistan while India has always been a responsible democracy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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