Another Indo-Pak War?
Prior to discussing recent problems, let’s discuss an old one, a really old one. This is a problem deeply rooted in our subconscious minds. The Indo-Pak tension.
Since childhood, we are fed the notion that India is the arch-enemy of our beloved nation. Since forever, India has tried to do whatever it could, to bring Pakistan to its knees. In this context, India attacked us multiple times which resulted in multiple wars. Apart from wars, there have been Indian secret organizations working within Pakistan. After every few months, a RAW Agent is arrested who ends up confessing that India sent him on this mission. After shorter periods of time, the headline reads: “Another line of control violation from India, Pakistan replied in a befitting manner.” You will find this to be true if you read this year’s Dawn news of April 11, September 14 and October 1, 2016.
Now ask yourself, how do you know if that’s true? Is the version of the truth that we are being handed, the same as that which the Indians are told? Is it necessary, that we are right and they are wrong? The sign of an intelligent person is his ability to be self-critical and to criticize his opinions. Can you do that? Can you go deep into your brain, and find the answer to this simple question:
Can real life be as simple as a movie, in which the hero is all good, and the villain is pure evil?
Let me tell you about the most biased book you would have ever read. It is undoubtedly your Pakistan Studies book. To put the whole book into a few lines, one can say:
Muslims of the subcontinent were not humans, because humans have an evil side. They were as innocent as newborns. They never did anything wrong; wrong was only done to them, and that too, unearned.
We need to reshape our mindset about good and bad. Everyone likes to think that he/she is good.
In the real world, good and bad is all a matter of perspective. Let me give you an example. If a father makes his young son do work for money, it is child labor and the Government is supposed to punish the father. Now think about it, whose responsibility was it to make sure that the father has a job and is employed? I believe it was the Government’s job, wasn’t it? They failed to create employment opportunities, which is the reason the father has been forced into having his child work, because after all, isn’t it better for the child to work, than to die of hunger? So the Government seems bad now, doesn’t it?
Let’s suppose you have a good Government. Child Labor will not be, and cannot be the Government’s top priority. You cannot employ people if you have a downtrodden economy, corruption in the roots of the system or billions of dollars of loan. They have to take care of these things first. And it is easy to talk, really hard to implement. And every time someone tries to bring a positive change, he is either imprisoned or hanged. So who is the bad guy here?
This is what you must understand. The answer is ‘no one’. Real life is no fairy tale. You must view the war from the eyes of the father, as well as from the eyes of the Government. Only then will you see, that there is no absolute good or bad.
The Government should punish child laborers, and that is where they are right. They should have given employment opportunities to the father so that he would have never committed child labor in the first place. Similarly, the father thought it was better to make his child work, than to starve, which is where he is right, but he should have raised his voice against the Government instead. So you see, good and bad is all but a matter of perspective, while no one is totally bad, or totally good in this world.
Similarly, you must not ignore an Indian’s perspective of the current situation. Find out how they see the conditions, in light of how their media has shaped their minds. You will start seeing positivity in their opinions, even if they conflict with yours.
I hope you get the point. I had to make the above point before I could write this article. I can give you biased opinions here and fuel your anger, which would satisfy you temporarily, and may even make you share this article, but I won’t. This may as well be the only article on the Internet, about the Indo-Pak issue, that does not declare one of them the absolute good, and the other evil. So let’s talk about the war now.
What started this?
Last month, there was an attack on the Indian Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri, Kashmir. 17 Indian soldiers lost their lives as a result. India blamed Pakistan for this, since the attackers “appeared” to be Pakistanis.
But the question to be asked is that “Attacks more violent than the Uri attack have happened in the past. India has blamed Pakistan every time. So why is India making such a big deal out of this attack now?”
There are multiple reasons:
• The attack was in what we call ‘Occupied Kashmir’. India has already been blaming Pakistan for funding the freedom movement of Kashmir and for training Mujahids, and with an attack on Indian headquarters in Kashmir, India reached threshold. (An Indian’s point of view)
• The reason for all the fuss that the Pakistani media reports, is that India wants to divert the World’s attention away from Kashmir, which is why it has created this new side-issue. (A Pakistani’s point of view)
Was Pakistan really involved in the attack?
Well, our patriotic minds may find it hard to accept, nonetheless, no one can deny the fact that Pakistan is seen as a terrorist state in the World. There have been several incidents that led to this like Osama Bin Laden was found only a mile away from the Pakistan Military Academy. We normally love talking about the power of our Intelligence agencies, which should raise a question in our minds. Is it possible that Osama Bin Laden was sitting so close to us and we had absolutely no idea? The compound he was in, had 12 to 18 ft. walls with barbed wires and two security gates. The inhabitants never threw out trash. They burned it. That should have been enough for us to get suspicious.
Still, the Zarb-e-Azab operation is enough proof that Pakistan is against terrorists. But there are still some problems that make people doubt our intentions.
Terrorist groups have been using the tribal areas of Pakistan as “safe haven”. You cannot deny that because the very purpose of Zarb-e-Azab is to target these areas and eradicate these terrorist cells. The American drone strikes were targeting these very areas as well. The former Secretary of Defence of the United States pointed out this problem:
“It is extremely important that Pakistan take action to prevent this kind of safe haven from taking place, and from allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces,”
(Panetta, Former Defense Secretary of U.S.)
The point is, that perhaps the attackers had entered India through Pakistani tribal areas, but even then, this is not the fault of Pakistan because Pakistan itself is trying to eliminate terrorism in its tribal areas with one of the strongest anti-terrorism operations in the World. (A Pakistani’s perspective)
However, India’s rage can be understood, because again, if you look at it from an Indian’s perspective, all they hear is that terrorists from Pakistan killed 17 soldiers in Indian headquarters in Kashmir.
So India, simply took revenge.
Surgical strikes or not?
If you don’t know what a surgical strike is, then “a surgical strike means an attack only on a specific, legitimate military target, with no intended damage to surroundings.”
There was some action taken within Pakistani territory by Indian forces, following the Uri attack. Now, the conflict is about what that action was.
• Pakistan says India breached the line of control and fired at Pakistani soldiers.
• India says that it conducted a surgical strike on a few terrorist launch pads in Pakistan, to kill terrorists only.
Pakistan doesn’t deny the attack, they only say that it wasn’t a surgical strike, rather it was Indians firing at Pakistani soldiers.
Hence Pakistani DG ISPR Asim Bajwa said:
“India’s claims of surgical strikes are baseless. There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India.”
(Asim Bajwa, DG ISPR Pakistan)
The World is demanding proof of the surgical strikes from India. Even Indian opposition leaders are calling them “fake”. Indian army is refusing to give proof. This too, if seen form an Indian’s perspective, is quite understandable. An Indian knows that they killed terrorists, not innocent people, so they don’t have to justify themselves.
The war of humor
This quarrel is quite ironic. Check out Pakistani journalist, Gul Bukhari’s tweet:
Well, the Indians made some pretty cool tweets about this too, like this one:
As these siblings keep fighting on whose fault it was, let’s see when Mother UN interferes. But what opinion should we hold onto? Were they indeed surgical strikes or not? It is best not to have any opinion, because with the amount of information that we are being given by media sources, and with the level of prejudice in it, it is hard to reach a sure conclusion, without being biased.
Is Kashmir the root cause?
Yes, and there is no doubt about that. This issue would have been a small one if it wasn’t for Kashmir. Both the countries were already outraged at each other about the Kashmir issue. Pakistanis were angry at Indians for killing Kashmiri fighters. Indians were angry at Pakistanis for training and helping Kashmiri fighters. This new issue only added fuel to the fire. The Indians are more angrier though, because the Kashmiris are fighting them, the terrorists are bombing them, and the world is denying the Indian operations.
The Social Media War:
If you use Facebook or Twitter, even a little bit, you would have seen the posts regarding Indians against Pakistanis. The social media war between the youth of both countries has begun and is raging. One Pakistani post on the Facebook page “Pakistan Vs India” said,
“India is building war hysteria, and their [expletive] retired generals are saying that they can break Pakistan into two in two weeks of war. Come on. Swear to Allah, we will never ever let [expletive] Indians dominate us.”
#PakWillPay was a popular hashtag in India.
In Pakistan, we are told that all the line of control violations are made by India (as I mentioned at the start of this article). Let me show you a tweet from an Indian:
See what media can do?
Pakistanis were more on the humor side on social media, as far as I saw. This joke got really famous:
Are we taking war lightly?
Yes we are, and there is no doubt about it. In fact, this is the very reason why I decided to write this article. I have been reading jokes like:
جن کے ڈرامے ختم نہیں ہوتے، وہ پاکستان کو ختم کرنے چلے ہیں؟
“The people whose drama serials never end, are going to end Pakistan?”
War is not something to be joking about. And I am not someone who can’t tolerate a joke. I rather have a good sense of humor myself, but it is a fact that people are thinking that war will be like a movie they’ve already seen. Or perhaps that the armies will do the fighting while they sit at their homes, comfortably watching the news.
If India and Pakistan go to war, God forbid, then it won’t be restricted to these two countries. If the UN fails to enforce ceasefire, then other countries might form alliances and it might start another World War. Don’t forget that World War 2 wiped out 3% of the World’s population at that time, which is 60 Million people. Economical progress will be stopped. Educational activities terminated. People locked up in houses, out of fear. If you live in a major city, then you will be target to greater threats. So, stop thinking that a war will be easy and that you will defeat India to rule over the sub-continent again, as in the “prophecies” your friends told you about.
But even with this trend of taking war as a joke, there are many people who understand the seriousness of the situation, and express it.
Let me leave you with a thought as I end this. What will you do from this moment on? Spread hatred? Have the same biased, media-guided opinion as you probably had before reading this article? Or will you rethink your opinions, and dig deep into this? Will you promote peace or will you preach war? We all have some things within our power. Even if you convey the truth to a single friend of yours, and correct his opinion on this matter, then you did something great. Indians are not evil, neither are we. We’re humans. We have our evils, but they are not all that there is to us.
Written by: Rohaan Hussain.