Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. In the modern foreign policy context, nothing better signifies the insanity which Pakistan practices and the recent Balakot air strike by India is yet another unravelling of those foolish policies.
Pakistan had lots of examples to learn from to conclude that the India of Modi is not the pusillanimous incompetent leadership of the earlier regime. It is much more youthful and demanding of those in power. It had consciously chosen Modi as the man to defend its interest particularly in response to the response of Congress which didn’t evoke any confidence in its response to the beheading of our soldiers. Unlike Congress, this Modi Sarkar under BJP places utmost importance on our soldiers and will make enemies pay a heavy price for any misadventures. This Modi Sarkar is the same which had conducted surgical strikes to eliminate groups which are against Indian interest. The Doklam standoff with China should have been a lesson for Pakistan that the days of strategic deniability and attempts to bleed through a thousand cuts are passe now. Pakistan should have seen the grave risk they are taking by continuing to harbour terrorists and letting them loose on India as they did at Pulwama. Justice has to be done and it is done in true Modi style. The message is clear: You ain’t messing with our precious soldiers.
Modi Government in its first tenure already has loads of success which it will take to the people and foreign policy is no small part of it. While it stood its ground in Doklam, it didn’t hesitate to take punitive actions in the surgical strike in another case. What makes matters sweet is that there has been perfection at the operational level in all these strikes all thanks to the able leadership of Ajit Doval. The Balakot strike is yet another example of the operational acumen and leadership combined with a never before seen political will of India to avenge our martyrs. This is the first time after the 1971 war that Indian fighter jets entered Pakistan occupied territory. But this is significant because India made it clear that the days of inaction under the guise of “strategic restraint” is over. The belief of Pakistan that they can continue to bleed India using their proxies and get away with it is shattered. Pakistan being the only nuclear state which always indulged in nuclear blackmail is a joke now as their empty threats unravel.
Back in May 2011, when the US entered into Pakistani airspace and liquidated Osama Bin Laden, calls for similar actions were made in Indian political circles. Indian public was more or less acquainted with the fate of a meek Indian policy that India had to search for decisive actions which ultimately lead Modi Government into power. While there had been talking of ISI actually allowing US Navy SEALs to come in at Abbottabad, India has to be more forthright and brash in its intent and sent the mirage which only Modi Sarkar could have been expected to do. And Modi delivered it for all the people of India who felt let down by the loss of our brave soldiers at Pulwama.
Just a few days before, Narendra Modi has been conferred the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The action against terrorists by the same person who won the Peace Prize is a testimony to the looming threat of terrorism in the world. Modi by taking the initiative has upheld that peace coming at the cost of loss of lives of soldiers is pure cowardice. Modi has delivered a body blow to the Pakistani establishment which may have thought that a peace prize will have Modi going soft in upholding Indian interest. For those who know Modi and have worked with him, we know that nothing is more important to him than national interest.
In yet another significant move, India has been invited to the inaugural plenary of the foreign minister’s conclave of OIC where Sushma Swaraj will attend as “guest of honour”. What makes it a diplomatic win is that it is for the first time that India has been invited which makes matters worse for Pakistan as OIC has often sided with Islamabad on many issues. With mounting diplomatic pressure on Pakistan over Pulwama attack, the move by OIC a grouping of Muslim majority nations makes their isolation complete and the diplomacy of Pakistan irrelevant.
Modi Sarkar has consistently and successfully treaded the fine line exposing the Pakistani establishment and taking down their terrorists. This non-military strike where no civilian or military casualties were inflicted is the surest sign of Indian security doctrine maturing in line with the mature Indian democratic system. It puts Pakistan at an immense pressure to explain their stand to the world about the status of these terrorists given that civilian government won’t own up to it nor military establishment can be seen to be in cahoots with them. It just was perfection as Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale read out the details of the “non-military strike” and “ensuring no civilian and military casualties” leaving Pakistan red-faced on the implications of the said statements and the inability to refute anything. The Mirage jets returned with Modi redrawing the security doctrine and lines for Pakistan where it better settle down, grumble and bear. Pakistan escalating the situation will do it at their own risk for they can’t afford a war nor blackmail for it isn’t working anymore. They are yet to digest the New India which Modi represents and ends up putting itself under grave threat.
To end, I will just quote Modi himself and reassure that “Country is in safe hands” and will remain so for many years to come. Whether Pakistan is safe anymore is something Pakistani establishment should ponder over.
(Shweta Shalini is BJP Spokesperson, Advisor to Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Executive Director of Maharashtra VSTF)