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A new exempler in India's stand emerges on Pakistan subsidized terrorism

Bangalore, March 06 (UITV): It is now over a week since India struck Balakot in Pakistan in a pre-emptive strike to take out terrorists planning further attacks on India. Various competing claims have been put forward about the impact these strikes would have, both in the short term and in the medium term. These claims can essentially be put within three brackets: The impact on Pakistan’s continuing manipulations on India, the domestic impact and, finally, the way Narendra Modi would be assessed as the leading decision maker of India's security post Uri and Pulwama attack changed India’s handling of terrorism completely amongst public perspective.

On the India-Pakistan front, the changes are already being felt. First, the most dramatic change has been in terms of India’s threshold and the stand on its response to terrorism. For a long time, Pakistan managed to convince the world that it called the shots on defining the threshold, and that it would determine which Indian defensive action would constitute a breach beyond which it would use its nuclear button. Post Balakot, the world has been notified that it is actually India which will set the threshold of strategic patience, beyond which it would respond within Pakistani territory. It is now up to India to determine how low this threshold will be. Although continuous ceasefire violations at Rajouri, Naushera and other indo-pak border areas still saw death of 4 CRPF soldiers and 5 civilians including a 9 month old girl. The Pakistan govt.'s every provocative action is now being answered by the Indian Govt. with a new and more acceptable perspective towards its countrymen.

  The continuing ceasefire violations by Pakistan took away 5 lives of civilians and CRPF soldiers

Second, the press conference conducted by the 3 defence services on one hand and the foreign secretary press conference on the other, have signaled to Pakistan that India is now willing to use any and every means necessary to put an end to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The Indian navy has had ostensibly no role so far in dealing with latest Pulwama terror attack yet,but however its significant role in safeguarding the Indian back waters on coastal areas cannot be ignored thus it was out there briefing the media on its readiness to respond to Pakistan with a message that could not have been more succinct.

       The Tri services hold the press conference post Air strikes slamming Pak on Pulwama attack

 Third, during this episode, not once did India try to “talk” to Pakistan to end terrorism. It was Pakistan that desperately called up India and got no response. It was Pakistan’s prime minister who went on national television twice to plead, and it was Pakistan which shut down its airspace for almost a week. India, on the other hand, went about its business as usual. The message was loud and clear: Persisting with its hostility for India will now have uneven higher expenses for Pakistan. From removing the 'Most Favored Nation Status’, a halt in trade of necessary goods and the significant reconsideration of Indus water treaty, India has seen it all once this time.

Most importantly, the nuclear bluff has finally been called after the successful 'Air Strike'. For 30 years, Indian law makers were paralyzed when it came to responding to terror emanating from Pakistan. India is perhaps the only country in the world which did not respond militarily when its Parliament was attacked and when its financial capital was brutalized but the protective shield that Pakistan wore all this while has been broken and there is no putting it back on. The opposition along with some Pakistan sympathizers in India questioned the exact number of successful targets during the air strike but what they failed to understand is that the impact of retaliation had its impact on the people of this nation and not the numbers of dead terrorists.

Internally within the nation, two strands are playing out. Both of these revolve around Modi. First, one of the important promises made by Modi in the 2014 elections was that he would be a more decisive leader when it came to dealing with terror. In dealing with militant groups in the Northeast, Naxalites in central India, the Islamist terrorists inside Kashmir, and, in responding to  Pakistan, Modi has lived up to that promise. The second is the unexpected middle class oriented financial budget presented by Union Finance minister piyush Goel. When 21 parties passed a resolution last week condemning the government of India during an ongoing crisis with Pakistan, they could have hardly been unaware of how Pakistan would play it against India. Soon enough, this was used by Pakistani media as proof that India itself orchestrated the Pulwama attack! When the dust settles, saner and more seasoned minds in the Opposition like Mamta Bannerjee and Mehmooba Mufti would, perhaps, reflect on what Rahul Gandhi would do in such situation?

 Finally, how should we assess Modi, the decision maker? Since his Gujarat days, he has built an image of a person who does not let electoral timetables impact national endeavors: As prime minister, he has now proved that multiple times. One state which was likely to bear the initial hiccups the most due to demonetization was Uttar Pradesh. Yet, that did not deter him from going ahead with the initiative just a few months before the UP elections. The GST rollout timeline was decided by national consensus — just a few months before the Gujarat elections, a state which would face the maximum initial disruption. Even well-wishers advised Modi to pause, but GST was rolled out on time with more than 18% GST.

Now, just before the national elections, the risk of sending fighter planes deep inside Pakistan territory was immense. It could have gone terribly wrong. But, personal political risk, again, did not dissuade the Indian PM from taking decisions that were in the national interest. Perhaps this would cement the defining legacy of the first term of Modi’s prime ministership. That he always put India first.