In the historical perspective, the two words that make up the title of this week’s piece rang across the English countryside, as the fox was sighted and the hunters and hounds began the chase that ran their quarry down. During the Second World War, this cry was taken up by the Royal Airforce pilots as they spotted German aircraft and swooped down to engage them. Today, these two words have become synonymous with any activity, where one adversary chases the other with the intention to either destroy or capture it.

The inhabitants of the subcontinent, nay the whole South Asian Region or perhaps even the entire world, are anxiously watching nuclear armed Pakistan and India, face each other in a situation of the latter’s creation, where even the slightest error in judgment may result in war. It is said that “war is a failure of policy” and “attainment of national objectives through military means”. Since no military scholar or strategist has ever challenged these two notions and because it is our Eastern neighbour, which has instigated (read orchestrated) the present crisis, it would be fair to conclude that the radical Government of Prime Minister Narinder Modi is suffering from a total and miserable policy failure and sensing a defeat in the forthcoming elections, is resorting to attainment of political objectives through military means.

With Congress Party and other anti Modi elements gaining popularity and reducing BJP’s chances of getting another term, reports began appearing that Modi may orchestrate an event to whip up anti Pakistan fury amongst his people and generate an environment heralding war in order to gain lost ground and garner voter sympathy. Soon after, we saw the Pulwama Suicide hit on our television screens, followed by a wave of ‘crush Pakistan’ mania amongst radical BJP cadres and media channels. Modi went around blaming Pakistan and swearing vengeance, while Hindu mobs attacked Kashmiris and Muslims, wherever they found them. The ongoing week began with two unsuccessful and one successful intrusion of Pakistani Airspace. The last mentioned incident occurred in Azad Kashmir, where IAF jets turned tail on discovering the approaching Pakistani Combat Air Patrol, dropping their payload on the pine covered hills near Balakot. Our response to this aggression was deliberate and effective. On Wednesday morning, the IAF emboldened by their escape on the previous night ventured into our airspace once again and regretted doing so. Both aircraft were shot down and while one fell across the Line of Control, killing the pilots, the other fell inside Pakistani territory, where the pilots were taken prisoner.

Modi’s game plan was perhaps crafted on the basis of past Pakistani responses from the governments of Nawaz Sharif and Zardari. These were defensive and lacking an effective external manoeuvre. In stark contrast, the response in the current aggression by the Indians was hallmarked by less talking and more action, sending a clear message that we are not to be bullied.

With China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia standing solidly with us, our new and dynamic foreign policy is already producing results, not allowing India to garner international support for her jingoistic designs. Not only at the global level, but for the first time voices and powerful ones too, are being raised from within India, against what Modi is trying to do in order to remain in power – destroy his country’s image and credibility. If Prime Minister Modi is trying to obtain mileage by staging the drama of a suicide hit and sacrificing forty four security personnel to foment war hysteria designed to serve his radical political ambitions, then he is far detached from reality, for the saner elements within India appear to have seen through the drama and are now demanding the truth.

As far as the Pakistani nation is concerned, we stand united behind our Armed Forces, comfortable in the knowledge that an effective message has been delivered and as a bonus we have two Indian pilots in our custody, who will more than likely spill the beans and destroy whatever plans, Indian government might have. If however, blinded by destructive hatred and delusions, the Indian government attempts to continue with its war mongering and violation of Pakistani territory on land, sea or air, then “Tally Ho!” my brave lads “Tally Ho!”