PURSUING THE PATH OF MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION

Saudi Pak linkage still on hold. Today I discuss
the reckless behaviour by India that could lead to disastrous consequences

Wednesday
27th February was an extremely tense day for the Indian
Sub-continent. According to my sources the downing of MIG 21 by Pakistani Air
Force and capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan totally disjointed Prime Minister
Modi nose. He wanted to react, he wanted to assert. Having seen the limitations
of his Air Force, he chose to the next option. A nightmare scenario, a missile
attack on up to 8 large population centres in Pakistan. Pak Army was equally
prepared. They would have hit 9 Indian targets. Try visualizing the losses and
damage it would have incurred. God Forbid potentially a million deaths,
property and infrastructure destroyed, normal lives disrupted. It was touch and
go. Saner minds prevailed fortunately. One hears about intervention by multiple
powers. Once the dust settles and things get back to normal, historians shall
capture the moment in its true perspective.

There are multiple versions circulating about this India Pakistan standoff. Each side trying to depict facts as they suit them. Having watched the situation unfold and talking to multiple experts and knowledgeable friends, I will attempt to capture the essence of how the whole saga has unfolded till date by recapping the events.

  • Kulwama. An truck full of explosives
    rams into an Indian Police force convoy. The cause is still to be determined
    but within an hour Indian Establishment and media blames Pakistan.
  • PM Modi, who is in full election mode,
    decides to inflict punishment on Pakistan to teach them a lesson.
  • PM Imran Khan counsels restraint, co-operation
    in investigations, and warns that in case of aggression Pakistan will not
    consider reacting, it will react. Pak Army spokesperson warns about a surprise
    response.
  • Undeterred, Indian Air Forces
    undertakes an assault on Pakistani side of line of Control with the declared to
    intent to destroy a terrorist training camp in close proximity of city of
    Balakot.
  • The attacking aircraft are challenged
    by Pakistan Air Force fighters. In a rush of things either the attackers had
    done incomplete homework or the pilots panicked. This resulted in the pilots
    unloading their ordinance on a forested mountain side destroying some trees and
    crow (pahari kawa).
  • Undiminished by the actual results of
    this failed mission, Indian authorities 
    and media claimed victory of destroying a terrorist training camp
    killing nearly 350 occupants. No footage or evidence has been presented till
    date.
  • There was a lot rejoicing all over
    India and BJP election machine were elated enough to claim potential win of 22
    seats out of 28 in a forthcoming Provincial election.
  • True to their stated positions, the
    Pakistani Forces reacted the following day. Pakistan Air Force planes crossed
    over to Indian side of Line of Control and pummelled Indian forces on the
    ground. The Indian Air Force MIG and B17 fighter planes responded coming after
    the Pakistani aircraft.
  • In a brilliant move that could surpass
    the brilliant skills of 1965 hero M.M. Alam, just as the Pakistani planes
    turned towards Pakistan in apparent withdrawal chased by Indian fighters,
    another Pakistani fighter emerged in a frontal attack using the latest
    technology that Indian radars could not read. I will leave the final judgement
    to aviation experts and historian on this outstanding manoeuvre.
  • It destroyed the lead aircraft of Wing
    Commander Abhi who had to bail out, a second Indian aircraft veered to the
    Indian side, went out of control and crash landed. One pilot perished in the
    resulting fire the 2nd pilot died because his parachute failed to
    open.
  • This thumping blow totally disoriented
    the Indian hierarchy. The Indian media came up with diverse versions ranging
    from denying any loss of aircraft to having shot down a Pakistani F16
    fighter. 
  • The circus continued for a while
    prompting F16 manufacturers reportedly stating that the entire inventory of
    F16s owned by Pakistan Air Force was intact and they reserved the right to seek
    defamation against the functionality of F16s.
  • This blow prompted the possibility of
    deployment of missiles by Modi as discussed above. Fortunately a disastrous
    confrontation was avoided.
  • One inconvertible fact emerged. Wing
    Cmdr Abhi survived the crash of his aircraft, parachuting safely on Pakistani
    soil, captured by Pakistani troops and returned safely to his homeland through an
    extremely generous, and in my opinion a very wise move by PM Imran Khan.

The above sequence of events were reported by Pakistani media fairly accurately leaving out some details that could not be verified independently. The Western media under reported for an initial period, however it was eventually picked up. Two warring nuclear powers could not be ignored. However the Indian version was more dominant. Living in West I understand self interest of different nations. It is like when describing a multinational like Coca Cola or Google it is stated “too big to fail”. Similarly the sheer size of Indian economy and their political/financial clout it can be termed “too big to ignore”. Let me give an example. Indian attack on Balakot terrorist camp was reported on a Canadian channel and the film they ran displayed the fallen tree stump and the dead crow! So much for objective reporting.

What takes the cake is Indian media
reporting. I dedicated a full day to watch a multitude of channels. Barring a
few honourable exceptions, the majority of presenters twisted the facts in
unbelievable ways. They termed the release of Abhi as the ultimate capitulation
by PM Imran out of fear of retribution! Engine parts manufactured by GE were
displayed as belonging to the downed F16. Apparently F16s doesn’t use those
engines! However what hit me hard was the hateful words and expressions being
used. Everyone was trying to outdo the other to insult, spew out venom and hate
against Pakistan. A whole generation is being raised on these poisonous
outbursts. What would the results be? India that prided itself as a secular
State will drift downwards to fundamentalism and dogma emerging as an
intolerant and belligerent Hindu State. It could be greatest tragedy of 21st
Century.  

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