Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Mar 06, 2019, 11.46 AM
When India is fighting a war against terror and has even conducted an airstrike and bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) terrorist training facility at Balakot in Pakistan, the leaders of Congress and other opposition parties are busy targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP by casting aspersions and ascribing motives to the direct offensive launched by India to uproot and destroy the terror factories in Pakistan.
After the Pulwama attack, Prime Minister Modi was quick in announcing that the Indian Armed Forces have been given full powers to handle the situation and counter cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
After the February 26 airstrike that targeted the terror infrastructure at Balakot, Pakistan Air force F-16 jets entered the Indian territory to target military installations. They were intercepted and chased away by Indian Air Force pilots. The Pakistani offensive resulted in the downing of an F-16 aircraft. India's brave fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan, whose aircraft was also hit, was captured when he ejected and landed inside the Pakistani territory. Under immense diplomatic pressure mounted by India and also the threat of direct action in case Pakistan chose to remain defiant, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in his Parliament that Abhinandan would be released.
“The Indian Air Defence system was on full alert in the morning of 27 February - a day after the Balakot airstrike. Build up of Pakistan Air Force aircraft on their side of LoC was noticed in time and additional aircraft were scrambled to tackle Pak incursion. When there was an attempt to attack Indian military installations, PAF aircraft were engaged and forced to withdraw by Mirage-2000, Su-30 and MiG-21 Bison aircraft from the Indian side. They left in a hurry as demonstrated by large missed distances of the weapons dropped by them. During combat, use of F-16 by PAF and multiple launches of AMRAAM (American beyond visual range air-to-air missile) were conclusively observed. Prompt and correct tactical action by Su-30 aircraft, in response to AMRAAM launch, defeated the missile. Parts of the missile fell in area East of Rajouri in J&K, injuring a civilian on ground.” With this statement on Tuesday, the Indian Ministry of Defence has blasted the false claim by Pakistan of shooting down an Su-30, which was obviously a cover up for loss of its own aircraft.
In the meanwhile, even as Pakistan imposed a ban on Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) on Tuesday, there has been no let up and Pakistan has continued to violate the ceasefire along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and there have been civilian casualties too.
When troops on both sides are in a state of combat readiness and it is time for the nation to remain united to face the enemy, the Congress party and other opposition parties are working overtime and throwing posers about the outcome of the February 26 airstrike. They all are asking the same question in tandem and the people at large are viewing this as an attempt by the opposition to politicise the situation keeping in view the upcoming general election. What is also alarming is that the opposition leaders are even pointing their fingers questioning the “timing of the post-Pulwama offensive (ahead of the Lok Sabha polls).
Gloating over the situation prevailing in India are those at the helm of affairs in Pakistan. That country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in an interview, has talked of differences among the political parties in India with regard to the numbers of terrorists killed in the airstrike. In a video that’s gone viral, Qureshi is heard saying, "The Congress party is questioning the claim that terror camps have been destroyed and a large number of terrorists have been killed."
On the current situation, the nation is also witnessing a war of words on social media between the BJP and opposition leaders. What is particularly capturing headlines are a couple of tweets by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh. After citing a certain news-report and asking “what is the truth behind the bombing of Balakot”, Singh said in another tweet:
After the Air Strike conducted by our Air Force in the wake of the Pulwama attack, doubt is being expressed in a section of foreign media and as a consequence of this, the credibility of the government of India is being questioned.
The remarks by opposition leaders are being seen as an attempt by the opposition leaders to dilute the gravity of the Pulwama attack and undermine India’s war against terror. The direct beneficiary of this is Pakistan.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)
Lalit Shastri is an Indian journalist, editor, environmentalist and a wildlife film maker
When it is time for the nation to remain united to face the enemy, the Congress party and other opposition parties are working overtime and throwing posers about the outcome of the February 26 airstrike.