In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, Indian media, in its all forms and manifests - electronic, print or social media - has been spewing venom against Pakistan. It has been dragging the whole nation into war hysteria, adopting intolerant behavior towards Kashmiris and war-mongering aggression in opposition to Pakistan, and thus bringing diplomatic relations with Pakistan to their lowest ebb.

In its frenzied approach, the Indian media is shying away from its prime duty of disseminating the right information and knowledge to the masses. Meanwhile, Indian media has always turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the gruesome miseries and cries of the Kashmiri people. On the other hand, it is also espousing a smear campaign to paint a negative image of Pakistan, and malign the indigenous freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people from the draconian illegal occupation of the valley from belligerent India.

When India is set to go for General elections, Indian media is doing war journalism that, along with spreading frustration and enmity in the region, has provoked whipping tensions on ethnic grounds. Following the Pulwama attack, hatred-heated debates in talk shows not only invited the frenzied wrath of Indian people to numerous Kashmiri students, but also served to cause the death of Shakirullah, a Pakistani prisoner in Indian Jaipur jail.

On one hand, the language of the war that Indian media has taken up is putting the whole region into turmoil as it encourages hawks. On the other hand, it suppress the voice of those who favor talks over war, by labeling them as anti-national, as in the case of Sihdu, who was dropped from the Kapil Sharma show over his statement on Pulwama attack.

The Indian media and leadership should keep in mind that India is not losing Kashmir, but has already lost it. India’s overreliance on military force as the solution of the valley has unfortunately failed miserably, and has propelled the youth from stone-pelting to fatal suicide bombings. Pulwama is one example.

Revoking the status from Pakistan of the most favorite nation, claims of stopping water, no cultural ties, not showing and playing with Pakistan, or going for all-out war are not the viable options that are going to benefit anyone at all. India, in its jingoism, should not forget that Pakistan is an India-centric nuclear power. In any de-escalation, with asymmetry in conventional warfare, Pakistan will not shy away from using the nuclear option if war is imposed on Pakistan, as also warned first by PM Imran Khan and later by army spokesperson.

In addition, Indian media and leadership should also take into account that in Pakistan, there is new leadership that enjoys idyllic civil-military relations, with both institutions on the same page. Wanting meaningful engagement with India and the opening of the Kartarpur corridor was an obvious example of this.

It is hoped that good sense may prevail after the General elections in India for the normalization of the ties with Pakistan, so as to ensure peace and prosperity of the entire region. For this to happen, options like backdoor diplomacy, Kartarpur corridor, exchanging cultural ties, engaging in sporting events along with resuming SAARC summit are some best available measures to be enacted for paving the way for the eternal resolution of the Kashmir issue.


Larkana, February 26.