The Indian narrative of the Uri attack makes no sense. In supporting the rights and freedoms of Kashmiris at the UN, and wanting to enact the UN resolution of 1949 on Kashmir, how would orchestrating an attack on Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir help Pakistan’s case? It doesn’t. And while we here in Pakistan can shout this till we are blue in the face, no one in India seems to be asking the right questions from its government about this attack, or about the BJP being irrationally bent on war. Whoever planned and executed Uri did Pakistan no favours.

India’s counter-narrative is that Kashmir’s problem isn’t one of denial of rights to its populace but of Pakistan using terror to foment trouble in India. There are problems with this narrative as well. If the problem was not denial of rights to Kashmiris but of terrorism, would the Kashmiri people not stand with their Indian rulers? No people want terrorism and bloodshed in their midst, especially that generated by an outside entity. The problem is not terrorism, and in essence, the term terrorism used for the Kashmiri freedom struggle is a disservice to the Kashmiri people who have been living in a state of limbo since 1947.

The Indian media has been instrumental in creating a story that has many plot holes. Journalists sound like cheerleaders of the government. Television talk shows discuss military strategies on attacking a sovereign country with little or no understanding of international law. Ex-generals are on television emotionally speaking of breaking Pakistan’s back. BJP spokespersons, supported uncritically by much of the media, are full of war slogans, saying that Pakistan will not be around to celebrate its independence day next year. Is no one in India is asking for accountability? How was a small rag-tag bunch of jihadis able to take down 18 soldiers? Why was Indian security not able to cope with the attack? And why is the BJP encouraging an armed conflict with Pakistan? Does the ruling part have no value for human life, and if not, does it not at least value Indian lives? Imagine if this had happened in Manmohan Singh’s time. Would the BJP not have ripped him apart and asked the Congress for accountability?

At least in Pakistan there is introspection after an attack. We can criticise the ruling party, and raise questions over the efficacy of our security agencies. The response in Pakistan has been one of calculated restraint. Pakistan’s Director General Military Operations refuted Indian accusations and asked his Indian counterpart to provide actionable intelligence for its claims. Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s ‘threat’ to use nuclear arms against India has also been criticised in the media as being a tad reckless. We seem to have our head on straight for this one, but India wants to chop it off for no real reason other than BJP fuelled hate.