Pulwama Terror Attack was one of the deadliest on our CRPF security forces. The entire country was anguished and demanded strict and effective response to terror outfits and their sponsors. It was clear that the Narendra Modi government wouldn’t budge. Immediately after the attacks, the government took tactical steps, both diplomatic and military, to isolate and avenge the Pulwama attacks.
Here are the steps that the government has taken so far in response to the attack.
- We reached out to P5 nations and ensured their unanimous support
Post the Pulwama attacks, India immediately reached out to about 25 countries which included the big economies like the United States, China, United Kingdom, and our old ally Russia. Specific information and evidence were provided to these countries explaining how attacks were originating from Terror nation Pakistan and how the state was complicit in providing a safe haven to the terrorists. We urged these countries to stop their support to Pakistan and help India fight the terror. These moves were positively taken by these countries and issued statements condoning the attacks. The United States even stated the right of India to protect our sovereignty and demanded effective action from Pakistan against terror. China, which is considered an ally of Pakistan, issued a neutral statement which in itself is a big win for India. At the diplomatic level, isolation of Pakistan was complete.
- Hiking Customs Duty, Revoking MFN Status & Appeal to designate Masood Azhar as Terrorist
The next logical step was to squeeze Pakistan economically. The Cabinet Committee on Security immediately revoked the ‘Most Favored Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan. The rules of MFN status under the purview of WTO, state that as trading partners we have to treat every signatory as ‘favored’ nation while imposing customs duty on goods. The moment this status was removed, India proceeded to impose 200% customs duty on all goods originating from Pakistan. This crippled their exports and immediately news started flowing in about ‘000s of trucks being lined up near Indo-Pak border and wastage of perishable goods.
Although not by the government, one more move by patriotic farmers from Jhabua Madhya Pradesh crippled Pakistan’s economy. They decided, out of their own free will, to not export Tomatoes to the terror-exporting nation. The aftermath was high tomato prices in Pakistan which again led to a bunch on jokes on Social Media.
India made a strong case and appeal to all members of the international community to support listing Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, and to ban terrorist organizations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.
- Security of Separatists Revoked and Detention Orders Issued
In the aftermath of Pulwama attack, to tackle the internal enemies, the Modi government swiftly removed security cover enjoyed by separatists in Jammu & Kashmir. As per news reports, about 1000 police personnel were round the clock deployed to keep Pakistan supporters like Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi & Abdul Gani Bhat “safe.” There was a huge public outcry because a lot of taxpayers money and state resources would get invested. The Modi government took the bold step to take away the security cover and now these people have to face the music of the problem which is of their own creation.
Furthermore, Omar Farooq who is Chairman of Hurriyat was put under House Arrest. The Modi government put Yasin Malik and he is currently under detention. The government has issued orders to ban Jamaat-e-Islami citing their support to terrorist activities in J&K and arrested 5 of their “activists.” The government should also be congratulated for keeping Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house arrest. This shall ensure that the valley is not under boil because of these elements.
Additionally, the Modi government detained 23 men who were sympathizers of Jaish-e-Mohammad. National Investigating Agency (NIA) questioned the suspects about the bombing and carried out raids at various places and houses of J&K leaders.
- Air Strikes inside Pakistan
While addressing the nation, Prime Minister himself stated that the government has given a go-ahead to the armed forces to “fight terrorism” and take necessary action wherever and whenever required, after the Pulwama attack. Exactly 12 days after the Pulwama attack, 12 Mirage fighter jets of the Indian Air Force used 1000 kg Spice Missles to eliminate 300 Terrorists belonging to Jaish-E-Mohammed. The Air Strikes were carried out inside Pakistan Territory in the wee hours with clinical precision. The entire Pakistani defense and intelligence apparatus was caught unawares and a major terror camp which was preparing jihadis for future attacks was eliminated. The number of terrorist eliminated can be ascertained from the fact that NTRO detected about 300 active telephone connections in the camps which were hit by the IAF.
The general public in Pakistan was rattled by the offensive air strikes and so was the establishment. To display utter flop bravado the Pakistan Air Force was tasked to “retaliate” India and 10 F16 jets took off from 3 different air bases with a solid plan to destroy military establishments in India. India carried out a “non-military, anti-terrorism” action and Pakistan resorted to military action. To foil this attack, Su 30 MKi’s and MIG 21 Bisons were immediately deployed.
Within a couple of minutes, the PAF had to face our counterparty and they returned to their territory but not without our MIG 21 Bison getting a lock on to an F16. MIG 21 was being flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan who fired a short-range missile at one of the F16 and brought it down. Two parachutes were seen landing in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Later, the Indian Air Force also provided evidence suggesting F16 had fired missiles at Indian Military establishments but had missed the targets.
Unfortunately, the MIG21 Bison was shot down and Wing Commander Abhinandan ejected from the jet and landed in the enemy territory. Within the next 48 hours, Pakistan was forced to return the Wing Commander back to India. Pakistani establishment tried very hard to use the captured pilot as a negotiation point but the same was outrightly rejected by India. Seeing that their ideas aren’t working, Pakistan was forced to retreat and handover our Pilot.
The above-mentioned actions explained in brief showcase master diplomacy and willingness to take on terrorism and its sponsors which was lacking in the previous UPA government. It’s clear that the army and IAF had the capabilities then as well but the political will was lacking. IAF has made it clear that the operations are still “ongoing.” India should stop only after complete elimination of terrorism and its sponsors.