Discussions on and off media are rife with condemnation of our political leadership’s soft, laid back attitude in response to India’s aggressively offensive body language, providing an opening to critics, who have begun challenging the ability of our Head of Executive to lead the country in a crisis of this nature. Leverage has been provided to this criticism by the PM himself. For example, the public expected Mr Nawaz Sharif to address the nation and take them into confidence in the ongoing faceoff with India. This would have reinforced national morale and stopped speculation, but this was not done. In the other instance, our Head of Executive and members of his delegation were found shopping in Harrods of London, when Pakistan was on the brink of an armed conflict with a rabid adversary.

Mercifully enough, the armed forces did not pull any punches in sending an immediate and unambiguous message (in ‘word and deed’) to the enemy. While response by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control and a display of operational readiness by the PAF and Navy comprehensively summed up the sentiments of the nation, adept handling of information by the Inter Services Public Relations ‘popped’ the surgical strike drama.

The current wave of Indian aggression and escalation along borders was something that was expected after the installation of Narendra Modi as PM, given his racist and fundamentalist hatred of Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular. The US appeared to have spotted a convergence of interest with Modi, in curbing expansion of Chinese influence in the region. The smooth completion of CPEC was considered to be a critical instrument of this ‘expansion’ and therefore detrimental to Indo-US interests. One way to sabotage CPEC was to create an unsuitable climate in Pakistan during its implementation. No time was therefore wasted in inking the Indo-US Security Agreement, which may have provided the green signal for the Modi government to provoke Pakistan into a conflict and ultimate submission. Such a submission would also have spin-off benefits for larger Indian aspirations, but all this could only be accomplished if necessary ‘space’ was available in terms of international support for such aggression – space that could be created if Pakistan was seen as the aggressor, a sponsor of international terrorism and a rogue state. Fortunately for us, that space is being consistently denied, creating a situation where frustration is forcing India to commit embarrassing errors of judgment. The credit for correctly assessing enemy intentions does not go to our headless Foreign Office nor to our political leadership. The laurels rest fair and square on the noble brow of our military leadership and its understanding of the international security chessboard.

It all began with a surge in the Kashmiri Freedom Movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir due to brutal reprisals by Indian occupation forces. The Uri incident, which now appears to be no more than a poorly directed low-budget Bollywood film, was linked to Pakistan using evidence such as food packages bearing Pakistani markings, recovered from the so called ‘terrorists’. This was ‘storyboarding’ in a manner so infantile so as to be fodder for only the most gullible. I must admit that the timing of this event was well chosen, in that it occurred just before the UN General Assembly Session.

The UN Session was an opportunity, where the world was listening to every word uttered by our PM. Regretfully what we heard was anything but a roar. The PM’s speech lacked fire and aggression in forcefully bringing out India’s direct involvement in the Balochistan insurgency. It also missed an opportunity to demand that India’s jingoistic approach to outstanding issues, its human rights record and its strategy of creating unrest (read terror) in neighbouring states was enough to label it as ‘rogue’. Mercifully enough, it was our Ambassador to the US, who endeared herself to the nation by making amends in no uncertain terms.

On the national scene, the government finally called an APC to show solidarity on the Kashmir Issue and the ongoing face off with India. This moot ended as such meetings do, with a resolution that will bite the dust in the remote closet of some ministry. And last, but not the least we await with bated breath to see life in the Federal Capital come to a standstill on account of the PTI intent to ‘shut down Islamabad’. How long will this shutdown continue is anybody’s guess, but it is more than likely to cause an undesirable disruption in the lives of citizens.