After the drop scene of the Pulwama attack that almost brought the old arch-rivals India and Pakistan to the brink of full-blown conventional war - that by fortune, has been de-escalated - the fast-approaching humiliating episode of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan on the grey-list that can also turn black, if Pakistan fails to satisfy Paris-based member countries as per demanded actions from Pakistan against money laundering and finances of the terrorist outfits. By observing the gravity of the situation, tensions and war at the regional level, and criticism and sanctions at international level, Pakistani civilian and military leadership have decided to deal with all proscribed organizations with an iron-hand, with no distinction at all, as these organizations have turned out to be liabilities rather than assets.

Avoiding the severe consequences of conventional war, countries in general have opted for proxy-design wars, as these inflict the desired damage in multi-aspect on the adversary, and no direct responsibility falls on the collaborator as terror outfits already claim the responsibility of the heinous act.

In the case of India-Pakistan, both in the last two decades have experienced the menace of terrorism in its worst form. On the Indian side, with attacks on their Parliament, on Pathankot, on Uri, terrifying 26/11 Mumbai attacks or the latest Pulwama attack, India has always pointed fingers at Pakistan. However, more than India, it is Pakistan that has witnessed the scourge of terrorism. Some examples are: attack at GHQ headquarter, attack on Sri-Lankan Cricket team, suicide bomb blast at Sehwan Sharif, and the soul-harrowing massacre of the students at the Army Public School. These are some from the many regular suicide bombing attacks in Pakistan that have cost Pakistan not only in flesh and blood, but also economically. Pakistan, with no exception, also blamed India for all this havoc in the country, and to cement their argument, Pakistan presents the case of Kulbhushan Yadav as a proof.

At this juncture in history, Pakistan has adopted a vivid paradigm shift in its internal and foreign policy. As Pakistan carried out large scale military actions that include Operation Swat, Operation Al-Mizan, Operation Rah-e-Haq, Operation Sher-e-Dil, Operation Zalzala, Operation Sirate-e Mustaqeem, Operation Rah-e-Rast, Operation Rah-e-Nijat, Operation Koh-e-Safaid, Operation Zarb-e-Azab and the Operation Rad-ul-Fasad. In addition, Pakistan civilian and military also initiated National Action Plan (NAP), where certain tasks were assigned for each civilian and military setup. By now, Pakistan has again vowed to act in the true sense of the letter and spirit of the National Action Plan, where 44 suspected individuals have been detained and the control of their organizations have also been taken over by the provincial governments, with the crackdown to continue in the future.

So far in the crisis, with new leadership in domain, Pakistan has acted and reacted with a mature response, and has earned the appreciation not only from abroad, but also from the saner voices from India, who welcomed Pakistani leadership’s offer for any kind of investigation and resumption of the dialogue.

However, Indian leadership under the hawkish Modi has promoted extremist Hindu ideology in India and intensified the atrocities in the Kashmir valley. The Pulwama attack by Kashmiri locals was simply the reaction to those atrocities carried out by the Indian forces in the valley, or possibly orchestrated even by the BJP party to exploit the issue and win the election. In the pursuit, they also carried out, as to claim, the so called surgical strikes and air strikes that killed 300 Jaish-e- Muhammad terrorists - a claim blatantly exposed by the international media, and even backtracked from by many BJP leaders. And the final nail in Modi’s coffin was Pakistan’s Armed Forces’ effective response that foiled Modi’s dirty agenda.

To cap this all, Pakistani leadership should continue the effective crackdown against those proscribed organizations, and should ensure that Pakistani land is not only used against Pakistan but also our neighbours, including India. It should continue to internationalise the issue of Kashmir, so as to pursue and pressurize India to resolve the issue politically, not militarily - which is not an option at all.


Larkana, March 8.