The nation was divided in 1947 in the name of religion, the division set rise to a neighbour who has been perpetually inflicting wounds. It has waged three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and continues to bleed us with proxy war of terrorism. Before the nation could settle itself, the first misadventure of Pakistan unraveled in Kashmir, in 1947 itself, when its fear of an integrated strong India, provoked it to take help of fanatics and regulars to capture Kashmir. The religion has always been misused to create instability in the region, a third of Kashmir was illegally captured by the Pakistan, the anti-India activities were propelled from here then onwards. The area known as PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir), has been the epicenter of all terror activities against India, which claimed thousands of innocent civilian lives and brave soldiers, India as a sovereign Nation faced the biggest challenge from these launch pads of terror which has continued to export terror all through. The chain of mistakes committed by the Pakistan was just beginning, in its overzealousness to prove, all was not well in Kashmir, it triggered the next biggest armed conflict, the 1965 war, the neighbor could never digest the factum that Kashmir is an integral part of India.
The nation born in the name of religion could not hold together its own people, as the conflict between West Pakistan and East Pakistan reached its zenith, in the early 1970’s. The mass exodus of refugees to India was more than any nation could accommodate, the internal conflict of Pakistan and its savagery to its own people and resultant ill effects, thrust upon the Nation, another war, which saw the birth of a new nation “Bangladesh”. The falsity of religious brotherhood which led to the division of this nation was proved through the birth of Bangladesh. Each war against India has been a memorable lesson for the Pakistan, in the biggest ever surrender of an Army, 90,000 Pakistani soldiers under Lt Gen AK Niazi, the commander of the Pakistan Army’s Eastern Command surrendered, on December 16, 1971, before Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora. But, the shame of mass surrender or the defeat of its army never prevented it from orchestrating more attacks on India. The realization that India cannot be defeated through a direct war made Pakistan and its secret agencies to declare a proxy war on India, which has been continuing all these years. The world has progressed a lot, the United Nations and the world organizations have been ensuring world peace through timely interventions in various parts of the world, especially where deadly conflicts have been going on. But, the world could not realize the trauma through which India was passing thorough till the Major nations themselves were subjected to act of terror by the religious fanatics. The Kargil War of 1999, saw utmost restraint exercised by India in not escalating the crisis, even when its sovereignty was threatened by the intruders and regulars. Nation lost hundreds of its valiant brave hearts in this battle, which eventually saw effective cleansing of Pakistani illegal intruders.
But, these wars were not the lone front which India was battling, it was engaged in an epic battle against consistent terror strikes, on its vital installations and its citizens, bomb attacks in public places which saw severe casualties. All these terror modules operated from across the border with blessings from the Pakistani-intelligence agencies and its Army. The biggest onslaught against our nation began with the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 on its way back to Delhi from Kathmandu. Barely half an hour from take off, on December 24, 1999, Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was taken over by five Pakistani hijackers with 180 passengers and crew on board. The hijackers had already set their agenda to demand release of key terrorists from jail. The refueled IC-814 was taken to Dubai and there, 27 hostages and the body of Rupen Katyal the passenger who was killed mercilessly were released. The plane was taken to Kandahar International Airport and the passengers were subjected to severe trauma in order to effect the release of dreaded terrorist Maulana Mazood Azhar.
The nation was learning to cope up with unexpected act of terror and the responses, the reporting in some section of media then accused then Prime Minister as in sensitive to the feelings of the families of passengers on board and demanded swift action. These reports, instigated demonstrations as well to pressurize government to release of dreaded terrorists, the release did brought comfort to the families but nation saw another face of changing tones, when the very same section of media began voicing concern over the release. The administration too was learning to cope up with new age terror tactics, the formation of Jaish-e-Mohammed by Maulana Mazood Azhar soon led to a spate of attacks against India and its vital installations across the nation. The temple of democracies, the J&K Legislative Assembly and later, the Indian Parliament, came under attack by heavily armed militants belonging to JeM. The nation was stunned when the financial capital Mumbai was laid to siege by the militants, no sovereign Nation would have faced such consistent attack on its integrity and sovereignty. The ugly face of a war in the name of religion has left thousand bruises on our nation, where as our Nation has adhered to tolerance and assimilation of all religion and cultures from time immemorial. This war has left the Nation bleeding, the tolerance and commitment towards international treaties and conventions, the responsibility it owes to its own people and comity of world nations and peace made us ut most conscious in our response. The self-restraint exercised by India as a Nation was often misconstrued as its weakness and the selective targeting of its military installations and security forces in Pathankot air base and Uri Command Head Quarters were intentional provocation, intended to escalate the crisis.
The Pulwama attack by terrorists which saw 40 bravehearts sacrificing their precious lives for motherland was unpardonable in all sense, the grave brutality committed in peace time, on a para-military convoy and openly taking responsibility for it and further threatening more such action was nothing but sowing seeds of fire, knowing full well that they would be reaping an engulfing fire, sooner for themselves.
India, as a nation, followed utmost restraint during these grave provocations, caused by the terrorists, who inflicted severe damage to the lives and security of its citizens. The proxy war in the name of religion has also taken the lives of men who are practicing the same religion, for which this war is claimed to be fought, but those men are remembered for their supreme sacrifice, as they laid down their lives for their motherland, fighting this fanaticism while staunchly believing in their religion. When Indian Air Force struck at the militant training camps across the LoC, a message has been relied to the world, it’s to re-open and re-learn the 9/11 lesson, developing or developed, no nation can tolerate terrorism, terror is against humanity, it’s the biggest threat to peace, the war on terror has to go on till the world is freed from the menace.
The air strikes effected was absolutely not driven by any ambitious territorial expansion plans by our nation but was an act of self–defence, an act forced up on, after relentless requests to the neighbour to act upon the terror exporting bases failed. The inputs, specific information, on such terror modules operating within Pakistan and the LoC given earlier was not acted up on, on the other hand, emboldened by the theory of an impending nuclear strike and a non-committal to no first use of nuke weapons, a nation of one billion was systematically blackmailed by the terrorists and its host nation. The fear of a nuclear war was effectively put in use to push our nation to perpetual suffering, the nation has liberated itself and has gone after the evil in its den, while ensuring no civilian casualty and even sparing the neighbour’s military installations. The specific strike on terror should not make the neighbour cry foul of breaching its sovereignty, India exercised its legitimate right to self-defence by carrying out pre-emptive strikes. Also, Pakistan has always been maintaining that these elements were non-state actors.
The nation salutes it’s Prime Minister, government and armed forces in this epic beginning, this courage is of course a big change, a change which is remarkable indeed.