India Has The Momentum Going Forward

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By Sushil Kutty

Post-announcement of release
of captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan Prime Minister
Imran Khan, Pakistani media is talking of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
“speaking in riddles”, which apparently has left them puzzled, not quite
understanding that riddles are by definition supposed to leave people puzzled!
At the same time, Pakistanis are also thrilled that their Prime Minister is
hogging “twitter praise” both sides of the border.   

That being said, Pakistanis
should be asking themselves which of the two countries actually, really, made a
difference in the last 72 hours. Imran Khan might have won a million more fans
but it is Modi who can brag of giving ‘anjaam’ to a successful “pilot project”,
what people are calling “setting a new normal”, which for the Pakistan Army and
its terror proxies is a new abnormal! Much to the dismay and shock of Pakistan,
which is yet to sink into the Pakistani psyche, terror proxies operating out of
Pakistani soil are themselves living in terror!

Not that another Pulwama or
Uri, even Mumbai 26/11, might not be attempted, but it will invite quick
retaliation and the global powers will be watching. And those eyes will not be
forgiving. The cricketer-Prime Minister of Pakistan is glowing in playing the
gentlemen’s game and cannot take the risk of turning overnight into ‘Taliban
Khan’, a sobriquet which he has been trying to lose ever since he became Prime
Minister of a country full of the Taliban. A large section of Pakistanis have
already begun to bay for his blood for the “unconditional release” of the IAF
pilot. 

Wing Commander Abhinandan
Varthaman was to be released by 10 am Friday but the event was delayed by
several hours because Pakistan wanted to make a “spectacle of the peace
gesture” for the global audience, glowing in its newfound role as “peacemaker”
rather than terror-dispenser. Most Pakistanis are yet to get over the quick
turn of events; the mood swings leaving them exhausted – depression and shock
after the pre-emptive strikes followed by euphoria after the capture of Wing
Commander Abhinandan and then dismay in several Pakistani quarters at the
announcement of his release. For the first time in a week, Pakistan is a
country divided, the repercussions of which will be felt in the days to come.
This is not how Pakistanis behave, and can be taken as yet another new
abnormal!  

Imran Khan will also be
stewing because of the OIC snub in allowing Indian External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj to address the OIC meet in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan boycotted the meet
inaugural. Pakistan is one of the founding members of the Organization of
Islamic Countries and it galled that arch-enemy India took precedence. Yet
another new abnormal! Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was not
missed. The OIC countries knew whatever he would have delivered would have been
anti-India. Nothing new normal there. With the pre-emptive strikes and OIC,
India has the momentum.

Swaraj took the opportunity to
present the “diversity” of India, of 185 million Indian Muslims living in
“harmony” with their Hindu brothers and sisters. She pointed out the
similarities India shares with the OIC, their peoples and cultures. And she
scored with demanding terror infrastructure everywhere must be dismantled,
destroyed. She did not speak in riddles. Pakistan will rue its decision to
boycott the OIC, at least its opening, another example of how Pakistan commits
diplomatic hara-kiri whenever the opportunity presents. Also, another example
that Imran Khan has much to learn and cannot bask in twitter-glory alone. India
scored at OIC and Pakistan was truly “elbowed out.” Pakistan will have to live
in this new normal or new abnormal. India’s pluralism and diplomacy won the
day.

In the backdrop of all these
new normal or new abnormal, to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling a
bunch of scientists that “it is a custom to first to make a ‘pilot project’.
Scalability is done after that. Just now one pilot project has been completed.
Now we have to make it real, earlier it was just practice” must sound as
“speaking in riddles” to the Pakistanis.

To Indians, however, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi is not speaking in riddles. Ever since he took charge in
May 2014, Modi has been after one pilot project after another. Modi also speaks
in short-form, maybe spends nights cooking up alphabet soups, and it’s not a
puzzle to crack that his pilot project across the border is a pilot project
waiting for scalability at the electoral level come general elections 2019. Ask
the average Indian and he will agree that this latest round of Indo-Pak
escapades is over; airspace over both countries will once again open to flights
and Modi is looking to make scalability “real” at the electoral level, which
probably was his goal all along. Now that is a riddle!(IPA Service)

The post India Has The Momentum Going Forward appeared first on Newspack by India Press Agency.



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