The lynching of Abdul Khaliq in Indian village Dadri on allegedly keeping the beef was probably a shocking reminder of the change India had undergone in 2014 after her general elections.

The common inference in Pakistan is that Mr. Modi oversaw the pogrom in Gujarat that ended up in the killings of approximately 2000 Muslims. Mr. Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, was dragged to the courts alongside a harsh media trial of him over all these years after the pogrom. The allegations ranged from planning and ordering the massacre, to letting the carnage happen deliberately, to silently watching it and doing nothing. For many years Mr. Modi remained the most controversial Indian political figure so much so, he was once denied entry into the USA.

In the twelve years after 2002, much had happened in Indian politics that allowed Mr. Modi to manage his victory in the Indian general elections 2014. Least of which was his ‘credentials’ of killing Muslims. His style of economic management in Gujarat made big corporations support his campaign. His governance skills helped him get popular support. His readiness to passionately safeguard ‘Indian-ness’ and the heritage and culture of India gave him panache not found in a secular leader who needed to balance things out among the culturally and religiously diverse electorate.

But the story that we in Pakistan know is, Mr. Modi is a Muslim-hater and a Muslim-eater. With his unmistakably immense clout within Rashtriya Soyemsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological wing of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Mr. Modi remains a symbol of Hindu violent extremism. All we know is, Indians have elected a terrorist who killed thousands of Muslims, is Pakistan-hater and believes in doctrines like Cold Start and Akhand Bharat.

With this backdrop we have a heated up LoC and ‘unprovoked’ shelling by Indian forces in Pakistani villages bordering LoC and the Working Boundary (the claim both states routinely make against each other). Attacks on Pakistani visitors on Indian soil have been cherry on the top, so have been Hindutva motivated attacks on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits. An average Pakistani is now sure that India is all out to destroy Pakistan and that each and every Indian citizen hates Pakistan and Pakistanis, the state of India cannot tolerate if Pakistan makes headway economically (Indian opposition to CPEC is a case in point).

With this growing popular anxiety in Pakistan about Indian posture, it is now easier for the hawks to capture the narrative of Indo-Pak relations. The noise about India’s alleged support of terrorism in Balochistan and even in FATA has never been so loud. It involves a lot of cerebral work to question this narrative, but is quite convenient and comforting to believe one as victim rather than perpetrator or planner.

We, the South Asian nations are quite lethargic in this sense.

In our popular imagination, all this is because of one man – Narendra Modi. And that he is doing it because major population of India hates Muslims and wants to destroy Pakistan. Every incident of violent extremism against Muslims and other minorities in India pushes Pakistan’s doves several steps backwards. Everyone in Pakistan, even the liberals and pacifists, are getting increasingly worried about the ‘neighbour in flames’.

The nature and intensity of extremist incidents is indeed worrisome. But one cannot neglect how Indian civil society is resisting this trend. When several Indian writers and intellectuals returned state awards, one could not think of many Pakistanis who would have done it. Or have done it. Many of our liberals – who take pride in fighting for democracy – have accepted awards from military dictators let alone returning them on general social trends of hate, extremism and radicalism.

Our newfound concern for minorities is baffling. Can we deny that human rights discourse, especially about women’s human rights, is often exploited and manipulated for settling strategic scores among these states? When the male machismo is not able to compete, it starts playing its power politics on women’s bodies and minorities’ freedom. Let me tell you how.

India being ‘rape capital’ and rapes of Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian army bothers us much. They should. They should bother everyone who stands for human rights and gender equality. What makes one uncomfortable about this selective concern for Indian and Kashmiri women and minorities is the complacence over our treatment of Christian and Hindus, scheduled castes, Ahmadis and Shias.

When one raises voice on these cases at home, one is accused of working for ‘foreign agenda’.

It is sheer chutzpah to wail about the Dadri lynching after making the killer of Salmaan Taseer a hero, after lynching and burning alive Christian couple on unproven blasphemy allegations, after burning down Christian neighbourhoods and not letting them get justice, after keeping Aasiya Bibi in jail without giving her right to fair trial, after accusing Mukhtara Mai – the victim of gang rape – of concocting her rape? And one could go on and on.

Perhaps reminding ourselves of a simple fact would help us understand why our troupes are being attacked by Indians on their soil and why an ordinary Indian feels strongly betrayed. Things could never be the same between Indian and Pakistani people (please notice I’m not saying states or the governments) once Mumbai – the economic pulse of Indian nation – was attacked in November 2008. For us, we never did it. For us, the beasts that routinely do it on us, did it on Indians. For us their 150 dead bodies were nothing compared to our 50,000 (and I’m not even sure of the number because an authentic count is available). For us, India should move on because we have done it so easily after a decade and half of sheer bloodshed meted out on us. For us the carnage on us happened probably with Indian help.

For Indians on the other hand, the Mumbai attack happened because our state planned it. For them, our state helped the killers of their innocents. For them, our citizens were involved in the attack. For them there exist irrefutable evidence that some people on our land, in our state institutions undertook the attack. For them, they have provided us the evidence in the form of dossiers. For them, if our state is not involved, it should help them reach out to the suspected culprits and investigate. For them, we are not being sincere in investigating and trial of the accused, who are living in comfort on our soil.

They forget while accusing us of every terror attack on their soil, that they have several terror theaters alive on their side. And that there are various cases resembling Malegaaon Blasts, which were initially put on Pakistan but latter found out to be home grown terror by the Hindu extremist groups. We forget that the personalities we are constructing as heroes are their alleged killers. When we embrace the accused of Mumbai Attacks as our social workers, we are determining our relationship with them.

If that relationship is of adversity, forget about receiving flowers from the other side. Let’s prepare to fight the war then. One decisive war, after which, none of us would remain to celebrate victory.