Herald: Nation stands as one on Pulwama

Nation stands as one on Pulwama

16 Feb 2019 06:00am IST
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16 Feb 2019 06:00am IST

The terrorist attack at Pulwama that led to the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans is condemnable and India has to send a strong message internationally that such attacks on its soil will not be tolerated.

Strong words have already come from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said that those behind the Pulwama terror attack will be punished with ‘heavy cost’ for committing a ‘grave mistake’ and that ‘our security forces have been given full freedom’. It didn’t stop there. In a clear reference to Pakistan, he said, ‘If our neighbour who is totally isolated in the world thinks it can destabilise India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a big mistake’. Whichever foreign powers that were behind the Pulwama attack have to be isolated in international fora. The country must exhaust every diplomatic means possible to achieve this. The withdrawal of ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan is a start, but it should not end there. If there is ‘incontrovertible evidence’ that Pakistan had a ‘direct hand’ in the attack, then it should be produced to the world and then acted upon.

Terrorism cannot be given a wide berth to proliferate, whether in India or in any other country. The international community must come together to defeat this war without boundaries and without battlefields. Merely condemning the attack will not stop terrorists, action taken together by the United Nations will. The demand by India that the United Nations ban JeM (Jaish-e-Mohd) behind the attack and pass strictures against its chief Masood Azhar who roams freely in Pakistan already stands. The External Affairs Ministry has now said all UN members should back a proposal to proscribe Azhar as an international terrorist. This appeal from the ministry is important. It shouldn’t matter to a country that an ally will be isolated by such action. Terrorism is beyond friendly relations between nations. 

The all-party meeting scheduled today (Saturday) for an unanimous view on India’s future course of action has to seriously look not just at a response to this attack, but go beyond to tell the world that the nation will not tolerate such attacks on its soil and against its citizens. The nation must stand as one on this without brooking any argument. India has to take a firm stand that will dissuade such terror attacks in the future, and politics must be swept aside. Whatever is decided on Saturday must serve to bring about a change in the terrorists’ thinking, or in the countries that harbor terrorists, that India may be a soft target. The country should look at long term strategies to counter terror attacks.

The fight against terrorism will end only with the end of terrorism itself. Countries around the world have suffered against these faceless enemies who think nothing about killing innocent persons. Such tactics cannot be allowed to be escalated.

There is outrage at the present moment of time. It happens after every terror attack, but with time the incident slips from people’s memory and the common man returns to their normal life. But not for the jawans manning the borders and fighting insurgency. Their patrolling on the borders takes on a heightened urgency, and they could pay for a mistake with their lives. Those who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack cannot be forgotten. They are martyrs and they will stay alive in the memories of their loved ones and of their colleagues. As the nation mourns with the families of the jawans, their deaths at the hands of a terrorist should not go unpunished. A terror outfit cannot strike terror in a nation such as ours. India will not be cowed down.

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